In Focus: How do we revitalise our town centres?

Shop to let Credit: ITV Wales

When you find a thriving high street you'll find a thriving community, the problem is many high streets across Wales are plagued by empty shops.

Watch our special web report on Swansea hereFigures recently released show the number of shoppers in our town centres is down. According to the Welsh Retail Consortium Wales saw a 1.7% fall in October compared to the same period last year. They also found 1 in 8 shops are empty.

So can Welsh high streets learn from each other? In Focus investigates.

Despite recent investments in Abertillery, there are still many empty shops.

Retail analysts The Local Data company say 24% of shops in the town are empty and the bad news is that more are about to follow because having recently lost one bank, Abertillery is about to lose another.

Bank which recently closed Credit: ITV Wales

But can Abertillary learn from places like Swansea. The city's High Street has long felt neglected but recently its fortunes have began to turn around. Artists moved into the empty spaces and new entrepreneurs followed them, attracted by the new vibe and low rents.

According to The Local Data these are the Welsh towns facing the highest empty shop problem Credit: ITV Wales

So what else can be done? Retail experts have called for creative thinking across Wales and asked the Welsh Government to reform Business rates.

The reality is what may work for Swansea may not work for smaller communities like Abertillery, but if we're to tackle our empty shop problem then more creative thinking will be needed.