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One in 5 shops in the region are empty

Empty shops Credit: PA Images

Almost one in five shops in our region are empty according to new figures. That compares with with just one in ten in the south according to the Local Data Company. The North West has been the worst since 2008 but was this year edged out by the North East.

The top 10 worst town centres for vacant retail contain four from the North West:

  • Droylsden 26.8% vacancies
  • West End, Morecambe 26.8%
  • Bootle 26.4%
  • Stockport 25.9%

At a regional level the polarisation between the North and the South is as wide as ever with London’s vacancy rate being less than half that of the northern regions. Of the top 10 highest vacancy towns in the country all are in the North, West Midlands or Wales. Whilst we have seen an improvement from the peak in 2012 when these towns had one in three shops empty, these towns all have vacancy rates above 25% which is still one in four shops lying empty and no sign of improvement.

– Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company