North West shops continue to suffer in recession
UNISON, the UK’s largest union, today called on the government to take urgent action to boost economic growth as new figures* reveal that one in five shops in the North West are empty (20%).
Specific town centres are hit even harder, including Stockport (28%), Oldham (28%), Blackburn (27%), Altrincham (27%), Bolton (26%), Bootle (26%), Preston (24%) and Runcorn (24%). The national average shop vacancy rate is 14%.
Kevan Nelson, UNISON head of the North West, said:
“This coalition’s disastrous economic policies are devastating our towns and high streets. It is a disgrace that one in five shops in the North West are now empty. Some North West towns have nearly one third of their shops standing vacant.
“Our local economies are caught in a damaging downward spiral. The government has to take urgent action. It must stop the benefit cuts that are hitting working people, end the public sector pay freeze that is forcing public sector workers to rely on credit cards and pay day loans to buy food. Putting money is people’s pockets is the only way to fuel the spending that our high streets so desperately need.”
*Figures from the Local Data Company.