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Scottish retail vacancy rate falls

Scotland’s average retail vacancy rate has fallen from 13.7% in 2014 to 12.9% this year, according to new research from The Local Data Company and the Institute for Retail Studies at the University of Stirling.

East Kilbride, just south of Glasgow, was found to have the highest vacancy rate of all the top 100 Scottish towns surveyed at 29.7%, down from 33% last year. Biggar in southern Scotland has the lowest vacancy rate at 1.8%.

Scotland has more multiple retailers than the UK as a whole, making up 36% of the mix compared with the UK’s 35%. Gourock, to the west of the country, has the highest proportion of independent shops at 79%, while Gretna on the border has the lowest at 6%.

“The vacancy rate continues to decline in Scotland and in Scottish towns and cities,” said Professor Leigh Sparks from the University of Stirling’s Institute for Retail Studies. “This is reflective of both the local economy and of restructuring changes occurring in town and city centres.”

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