Pandemic cost Newcastle city centre more than 6 months high street sales, new report reveals

The pandemic has cost Newcastle city centre more than half a year's worth of high street sales, a new Centre for Cities report has revealed.

Cities Outlook 2022, an annual economic assessment of the UK's largest urban areas, has found businesses in the city lost 39 weeks worth of potential takings since March 2020.

The lost sales are the biggest of any city centre in the North East and the eleventh biggest in the country.

Newcastle has also seen the second biggest increase in vacant city centre units in the country during the pandemic, with one in five stores in the city centre now sitting empty.

However, NE1, which represents businesses in Newcastle, disputes the statistics and says the high street is thriving.