Shop local as vacancy rates fall

Release Date: 22/03/2017

Empty units in Richmond upon Thames are now standing at 133 vacant outlets – just over a half the number there were six years ago.

Official figures released by Richmond Council have shown that in 2016 the business vacancies in borough centres dropped from 186 in 2015 to 133.

Six years ago, the Council estimated that there were around 233 empty units across the borough. But over the past few years, partly thanks to Council investment and support from local business organisations, including the Business Improvement Districts, the decline in the number of empty units has contributed to the improving picture.

Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Business, said:

“These figures are just a snap shot in time and change daily. We know that things are financially tough for many local businesses. However, these figures show that our continued investment to improve the infrastructure and look of our town centres will help attract businesses from across the retail and leisure spectrum, creating areas that residents and visitors will want to visit.”

“We have spent millions through our Uplift Programme and Twickenham Redevelopment initiatives to improve the look and shopper experience in most of our centres. This ranges from new shop frontages in Whitton, new high street paving in Barnes, a new Town Square in Hampton and an improved high street in Twickenham.”

“However, we know that there is still some work to do. We will continue our effort to develop schemes that will add value to the local economy. We will also work closely with our partners, particularly Business Associations and local BIDS, to provide ongoing support and assistance that will keep our town centres as key thriving retail, leisure and residential hubs for residents and visitors.”

Updated: 22 March 2017