So how are you going about tackling empty shops issues in your town or city centre…?
🤔 Do you need to demolish…? Will some have to be re-purposed to resi or office…? Maybe. Or might they re-let…?
🚈 We had (yet) another illustration of how the picture can change even in a short space of time on a flying – or whatever the train trip equivalent of that is – visit to Monmouth.
📉 It’s a town we’ve been running our ‘audit, engage’ approach in since the spring. By the end of summer, the number of ‘empty & available’ units was a third of the original headline vacancy figure. This weekend there are signs that even more of the initial vacants are let or getting there.
…and it’s something we’ve seen in several of our #TheVacantShopsAcademy locations.
There’s work to do here still – as in the other places. But now there’s a clearer picture, and decisions on policy and projects can be much more strongly evidence-based, and so more likely to be what’s needed…!
It’s another example of why we urge places not to try deal with vacancy on your #highstreet based on a snap shot.
Instead, run ‘audit, engage’. Check their current status with the #property agent or landlord. Understand the backstory and establish what barriers there are to them being let. Then work with agents, landlords, businesses and your community to do what you can as a place to get them back into use.
🔑 Otherwise, you risk doing the wrong thing. Reducing your stock of units for #retail, #hospitality, services or one of the lengthening list of ‘alternative uses’ – arts & crafts, creative, culture, community, leisure, education, health & wellbeing – when actually what you need do is different, and maybe even the opposite.
🗣️ We’d love to hear from places who’d like to try tackling empty shops issues this way. Please get in touch…!