North of England has '5 Manchesters' of empty shops

Empty-Shops The British high street, as we all know, is in a treacherous position, with shops of all sizes closing down. However, there's a North/South divide as expected.

New data shows that there's twice as many empty shops up North than there is in the South. According to the Local Data Company, a whopping 1-in-5 shops in the North stands empty. In the South, 1-in10 shops are deserted.

"The worst-performing towns all had vacancy rates above 25%, which is still one in four shops lying empty and no sign or improvement," said Matthew Hopkinson, director of The Local Data Company. "Local Data Company research also found that 20% of the shops it tracked had been empty for more than three years, amounting to almost 10,000 outlets."

"This is the equivalent of five Manchesters lying empty."

It isn't all bleak news though (although, it makes for mostly bleak reading) as there's been an improvement in overall occupancy, as figures show that average vacancy rates have fallen since 2012. Even so, that's no use to the North where there's a disproportionately high number of vacant premises compared to the South.

While London has a vacancy rate of 8.7%, the North East's is 18.8% for the latter 6 months of 2014 while the North West in the same period, has a shop vacancy rate of 18.6%.

Top 10 towns with the highest vacancy rates 

Burslem (West Midlands) 29.4%
Stoke-on-Trent (West Midlands) 27.7%
Hartlepool (North East) 27.3%
West Bromwich (West Midlands) 27.1%
Droylsden (North West) 26.8%
Morecambe (North West) 26.8%
Stoke-upon-Trent (West Midlands) 26.6%
Bootle (North West) 26.4%
Walsall (West Midlands) 26.2%
Stockport (North West) 25.9%


  • Clayhead
    Stoke-upon-Trent is part of Stoke-on-Trent. Does that mean that mean that Stoke-on-Trent is only 1.1% if you don't include Stoke-upon-Trent? In all honesty though, Hanley is crap for the shops now, not much better than Crewe.
  • Michael S.
    Pretty sure that Stoke-on-Trent, Stoke-on-Trent and Burslem are the same place...

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