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  1. ITV Report

Number of empty high street shops on the rise in London

Over the last three years there has been more than 5000 empty shops on London's high streets.

The capital, however, does have the lowest percentage of vacant premises in the country.

As of November 2019, just 8.6% of shops were empty, with 1000 of those having not been occupied for three years or more.

This figure has risen between 2016 to 2019, increasing from 7.7% to its current rate, meaning an additional 500 shops have become vacant in the period.

5000
Number of empty shops
Pitshanger Lane Credit: ITV News

Pitshanger Lane in west London has been a success story in London thanks to its high number of independent shops.

The road is bucking the trend elsewhere, boasting 50 independent shops.

John Martin, Chair of the Pitshanger Lane Traders Association: "We've had significant changes in ten years, in fact ten years ago we lost 25% of businesses due to the lane being closed down for roadworks or 26 weeks. Since then we've moved on leaps and bounds.

"We've turned it into a thriving high street, having won High Street of the Year 2015.

"A lot of it is communication; it's talking to our community and getting our community to back us and, to be fair, having what everyone wants on a high street which is small, independent businesses."

- Has your local high street been a success? If so, tweet @ITVLondon

  • High Streets: End of the Road? – Tonight will be broadcast on Thursday 16th January at 7.30pm on ITV