Solving the Problem of Empty Shops Across Britain

No matter where you live, the chances are reasonably good you can think of a few shops in your local town that are empty. There will always be units and shops that are empty, at least for a while, as shops close and are offered for let to other businesses. In recent years, however, the problem has become exacerbated. High rents, challenging circumstances, and the fallout from the recession have all had an effect in recent times.

Some areas are hit harder than others. For example, a recent news story reported that nearly 25% of shops in Ayr, Scotland were empty in 2016 – one of the highest rates seen last year. With that said, research has indicated the situation across Britain got better towards the end of last year. hopefully, the trend of filling (and sometimes repurposing) empty shops will continue into 2017 as well.

Many councils throughout the London area have schemes and support available for those who want to use empty shops for one purpose or another. Lewisham Council is just one example. If you have your eye on a local shop and you’re wondering how you might use it, it may be a good idea to contact your local council to find out more.

Image courtesy of Gordon Fortune

At Thrift Urban Housing, we run our own project called Lots of Shops. The idea is to locate empty commercial properties with the view to turning them into residential accommodation. The aim is to regenerate areas with lots of shops that are empty, some of which may not have been occupied by businesses for a long time. You can visit the dedicated website we have set up that provides more information about this scheme. It applies across all the London boroughs, so if you know of any shops that have stood empty for a long time that may be suitable for us to look at, please do let us know.

We would also be delighted to hear from you if you can help financially, or by volunteering some of your time to assist us. Simply get in touch via the contact us page on that website.

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