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Vacant shop numbers soar

The number of vacant shops on the high street has more than doubled over the past year according to a report by The Local Data Company.

Town centre vacancy rates in England and Wales have risen from just over 4% in the middle of 2008 to nearly 12% at the end of June this year with Derby, Blackpool and Liverpool three of the hardest hit places, each with over 20% of retail capacity vacant, according to the findings.

The south fared slightly better with Croydon and Exeter the only towns in the top 10 best locations with around 15% vacancy each.

Central London had a vacancy rate of nearly 13%.

Administrations of the likes of Viyella, Shoe Express, Priceless and Barratts have all contributed to the increase in vacant units.

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