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A third of vacant shops empty for more than three years

One in three vacant shops has been empty for more than three years in the top 650 towns across the UK.

According to research published by the Local Data Company (LDC), the UK’s shop vacancy rate remained at 13.2% in October, which is the lowest level since June 2010.

The majority (38.9%) of the empty shops in these towns have been vacant for less than a year.

But Matthew Hopkinson, director at LDC, said the new data showed 7,697 shops out of 25,393 had little hope of reoccupation and therefore could be removed from the rating at the next revaluation in 2015.

“This equates to nearly 8,000 shops that need to be demolished or redeveloped as clearly there is no retail use for them,” he said.

“Whilst the top line numbers are broadly positive the devil is in the detail with regards to what can be done with one in 10 shops that are surplus to requirement. In the top 650 towns alone the number of empty shops equates to four Birmingham city centres lying empty.”

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