A third of Altrincham shops lie empty, report claims

Almost a third of shops in Altrincham town centre are empty, according to new research.

The Trafford town, which serves one of the UK's most affluent areas, has 78 empty shops.

The research carried out by The Local Data Company found that vacant shops in Altrincham had increased by almost 9% since last year.

Trafford Council said the vacancies were due to regeneration plans and the effects of the recession.

'Strong position'

One of its two major shopping centres, The Graftons is in administration, and is largely empty as it waits for potential developers to purchase it.

Trafford Council said plans had been submitted for a large landmark building in the centre of Altrincham, Stamford House, to be refurbished as shops and apartments, which had resulted in most of its existing shops lying empty.

Deputy council leader Alex Williams said: "We know that Altrincham is in a difficult position because of the recession and the impact on the retail economy.

"We've sought to make it easier for retailers by lowering parking charges and improving the street scene and as a consequence, we believe that Altrincham is in a strong position to recover well in the future.

"We have already brought an ice rink and cinema back to Altrincham and will continue this work to develop a first class retail and leisure destination over the coming years.

"Altrincham is currently going through a period of transition with a number of major developments imminent, including the £100m Altair development on the east side of the town."

The Altair development aims to provide a 125-bedroom hotel, restaurants and cafes, shops, 31 flats, offices and a 600-space multi-storey car park, and a permanent ice stadium for the Manchester Phoenix ice hockey team.

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