AS high streets across England struggle with more and more empty shops, Melksham has bucked the national trend. A recent survey has shown that the town has just a quarter the number of the empty shops as the average high street.
Results collected by The Local Data Company showed that 11.8% of shops in the UK are unoccupied, whereas a mere 3.2% lie empty in Melksham. Only five of the town’s 156 premises were recorded empty when the survey was conducted in December last year.
There were two vacant premises on Bath Road, one on Church Street, and two on the High Street.
Mayor of Melksham, cllr Terri Welch said, “I’m delighted to see that Melksham believes in itself. I’m proud to be part of such a vibrant community that supports its traders and encourages them to remain in the town.”
New shops which have opened recently include Total Carpets & Flooring in the Market Place; Refa Tandoori’s new restaurant in the former Blockbusters shop in the Market Place (see story page 23); a new equestrian shop in Bank Street; John Stuart Funeral Directors also in Bank Street, and soon there will be a new Italian restaurant opening in the former Carpet Barn shop on Bank Street.
The study showed that the vacancy rates continue to firmly divide the north and south of England. Nine out of the ten worst performing towns were either in the West Midlands or North West regions, whereas the majority of those with the lowest vacancy rates were in the South West, London or the South East.
More information about the survey can be found by searching ‘vacancy report h2 summary 2014’.
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