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Shop vacancies not just about recession.

Recession has compounded the problems faced by some UK high streets but is not the only cause.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Shop vacancies not just about recession.

Recession has compounded the problems faced by some UK high streets but is not the only cause.

Reacting to new figures from The Local Data Company, published today (Wednesday) which shows shop-vacancy rates still high in many towns, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said many of the problems of town centres have more fundamental causes than simply the economic slowdown and recovery alone will not overcome them.

Town centres can have a bright future but they need to be actively planned, managed and nurtured.

Stephen Robertson British Retail Consortium Director General said: "It's good to see closure rates now slowing in some towns though a lot of our high streets are in a bad way after the recession.

"But, many of the problems of town centres have more fundamental causes than simply the economic slowdown and they will not disappear just because recovery is underway. "High street shops are often battling big bills for business rates and rents, parking and access difficulties, as well as failure to manage and invest in the area. "High streets are the heart of local communities and economies – providing jobs and essential services. Their future success cannot be left to chance. Town centres need to be actively managed by local authorities with their retailers, other businesses and residents."

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