Number of vacant shops across Three Rivers below national rate
19th August 2021
The number of vacant shops in Three Rivers district is significantly below the national rate – despite the challenges of Covid-19 – new research shows.
Three Rivers District Council’s biannual Shop Survey, conducted in June, reveals that the district wide vacant retail unit rate remains at 7% – the same as September 2020. This compares to a national rate of 14.5% according to British Retail Consortium figures.
Meanwhile, there has been an increase in the number of vacant shops in Rickmansworth and Chorleywood. Rickmansworth town centre’s vacancy rate is 13% in the latest figures, up from 8% in September – with 17 vacant shops compared with 11 last autumn. Chorleywood now has a rate of 18% with 10 vacant shops compared with a 12% rate and seven vacant shops in the last survey.
The proportion of vacant units has decreased by 2% at Moneyhill Parade, Mill End. The proportion of vacant units has remained at the same low rates in Abbots Langley (2%) and Maple Cross (0%). Due to the ongoing redevelopment of the South Oxhey retail centre, the number of vacant units in that area at the time of the survey has been looked at separately, and was 63% in 2020 and 62% in 2021.
The survey also gathered data on premises which are open and trading and those which remain closed, rather than vacant. This shows that across the district there were 88% (282) open retails units and 2% (7) closed as of June.
The new data comes ahead of a number of new schemes being led by the council to both listen to the views of local retailers but also promote and support businesses in the High Street.
Cllr Sarah Nelmes, Leader of Three Rivers District Council, said: “Our shops and businesses are at the very heart of our communities, so it is very encouraging to see that the number of vacancies is lower than the national figures.
“But we know that in Rickmansworth and Chorleywood there has been an increase, and as a council we must do all we can to listen to the views and experiences of our retailers and support them as we strive to bounce back from the challenge of the last year and a half.”
Earlier this month the district council launched a £350,000 fund to support businesses across Three Rivers district with the aim of boosting the post-pandemic economic recovery. In the coming weeks further initiatives to support local businesses are set to be announced.