Harrogate Borough Council’s latest figures for the number of empty shops on our high streets are good news for local businesses and shoppers.
In Harrogate shop vacancy rates stand at 7.3 per cent compared to 9.5 per cent a year ago. In Knaresborough, the rate is 10.2 per cent compared to 12.6 per cent in March 2020 and in Boroughbridge the rate is a stunning 1.5 per cent – it was 6.1 per cent a year ago. In fact in Boroughbridge only one shop is empty and that is due to be occupied shortly.
Local MP Andrew Jones welcomed the news: “These have been difficult times and we are still not through them. Retail and hospitality are going to face ongoing challenges but these figures are positive and an improving position on much of the last few years.
“While the Harrogate town centre vacancy rate is at its lowest since June 2015 this is somewhat masked by the fact that a few really large units in prominent positions are empty which smaller units are generally being occupied.
“Knaresborough’s figures should improve even further when the long-term empty properties on the High Street come into use later this year. They were derelict until Harrogate Council bought them and refurbished them.
“The Boroughbridge story is amazing and a tribute to this positive, community-oriented outlook. The town even featured on the BBC news described as ‘Boom town Boroughbridge’; quite an accolade!”