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Scottish retail  shop vacancy rate drops to 13.7%

A new report on the health of Scotland’s high streets has shown that its shop vacancy rate has fallen from 14.5% to 13.7% since 2013.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Scottish retail shop vacancy rate drops to 13.7%

A new report on the health of Scotland’s high streets has shown that its shop vacancy rate has fallen from 14.5% to 13.7% since 2013.

The figures from the Local Data Company and the University of Stirling’s Institute for Retail Studies, show that East Kilbride has the highest vacancy rate of all Scottish towns at 33% while Inverurie has the lowest at 1%.

While Banff, Dumbarton, Cumbernauld, East Kilbride and Ardrossan have seen their vacancy rates remain above 22% over the last three years, the vacancy rates for Inverurie, Ellon, North Berwick, Dunbar and Biggar have remained below 6%.

The study also found that 37.5% of vacant property has remained so for more than three years. Dundee has the highest proportion of persistent vacancy at 11%.

Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company, said: “Once again LDC is delighted to partner with the University of Stirling in independently analysing the state of Scotland’s towns. The report identifies important trends as well as quashes common perceptions that deprived towns can’t succeed. Of particular significance is that in many Scottish towns almost 40% of the vacant units have been vacant for more than three years. Such a stark figure implies obsolescence and a major barrier to healthy and sustainable places and communities.”

While Anstruther was found to have the highest proportion of independent shops at 86%, Gretna has the lowest at 5%

Other findings show that 67% of towns have no recorded off licence, excluding supermarkets and convenience stores, while 59% of towns have no cheque cashing outlet and only 6% of towns have no betting shop.

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