Is that ‘empty’ shop actually vacant…? Or…?

As promised, here’s an early data output from one of the locations we’re running ‘audit, engage’ as part of a tackling empty #highstreet shops issues project which, hopefully, you’ll find is food for thought…

Our town centre walk-see there in the spring showed 29 visibly vacant units. But checking in with #property agents and landlords produced – not for the first time in our #TheVacantShopsAcademy work – a very different picture.

  • Ten of the units are now let. Ten…!
  • Another two are under offer.
  • A further four are not proactively being marketed currently because of refurbishment works.

True, units in the last two categories might come back onto the market. But still, the number of ‘empty & available’ units is HALF, maybe even a third of the headline vacancy rate. A huge difference in terms of deciding ‘next steps’ policy.

This is the second location in which we’ve reported a significant gap between the two numbers, and again illustrates why we’re so keen for places – whether that be council(s) and / or BID where there is one – to take charge of their vacancy numbers, and to work with agents, landlords, businesses and their community to help overcome barriers to getting empty units back into use.

You can make a difference. And the risk of taking policy or project initiatives without knowing the backstory of these units is that you might do the wrong thing – including taking out commercial space when actually you could use more…!

We’re always happy to talk places thru our ‘audit, engage, encourage, promote’ approach if vacancy is an issue for you…?

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