Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has highest rate of vacant shops in UK

shop closing sign
Image caption Northern Ireland the highest town centre shop vacancy rate in the UK

Northern Ireland continues to have the highest town centre shop vacancy rate in the UK, according to a new survey.

The survey, on behalf of the British Retail Consortium, recorded high street footfall and shop occupancy.

The survey reported that 14% of shops in Northern Ireland's high streets and shopping centres are empty, compared to the UK average of 11%.

NI led the top of the vacancy league followed by the North and Yorkshire region and the East Midlands.

However on the plus side, the number of shoppers in Northern Ireland in the three months from November to January was up by 7% on last year - well above the national average - and reflected strong Christmas trading.

The survey gathered data from town centre managers in 450 locations across the UK.

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