West End still among worst for empty shops

West End shops.
West End shops.
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The West End of Morecambe has been ranked sixth worst town in the country for empty shops.

The West End has a vacancy rate of 26.8 per cent, joint highest in the North West with Droylsden, new figures claim.

But the rate has dropped by more than 6% over the past year.

And it has fallen by nearly 11% since 2013, when the West End topped the league table for having the most empty shops in the UK with 37.1 per cent.

Annual research carried out by The Local Data Company showed that across the country, the number of empty shops was also reducing.

The rate of shop vacancies nationwide stood at 13.3 per cent at the end of last year, down from a February 2012 peak of 14.6 per cent.

The North West had led the country in terms of shop vacancies since 2008 but has now been edged out by the North East.

The towns with the highest vacancy rates are:

Burslem (West Midlands) 29.4%

Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (West Midlands) 27.7%

Hartlepool (North East) 27.3%

West Bromwich (West Midlands) 27.1%

Droylsden (North West) 26.8%

Morecambe - West End (North West) 26.8%

Stoke (West Midlands) 26.6%

Bootle (North West) 26.4%

Walsall (West Midlands) 26.2%

Stockport (North West) 25.9%