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Nov 13 2012

Council Say Only Four Percent of Harrow’s Shops Empty

Empty dilapidated shops are a familiar scene across many of Britain’s recession-hit town centres but in Harrow a very different picture is emerging.

The number of empty shops in the Town Centre has steadily decreased in the past six months with just four per cent of shops now empty, latest figures reveal. In London the proportion of vacant shops is 10.1% and an average of 14.6% of shops remain empty across Britain .

The vacancy rate decrease in Harrow shows a drop from seven per cent in May and serves as a clear indication that Harrow Council’s efforts to stimulate the local economy are working. Since Mary Portas’s much-talked about recession-busting review of High Street shops, Harrow Council has put in place a number of steps from the January review.

Harrow Council Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Planning, Cllr Keith Ferry, said: “Supporting the town centre and local businesses is a top priority for the Council…”

Taking full advantage of steps outlined in the Mary Portas review, the Council has worked with local traders and aspiring entrepreneurs and stemmed the decline of the Town Centre and high streets across the borough. By going back to basics, giving residents a reason to shop local, and relaxing planning laws, Harrow Council has hit back against the recession when most shopping centres across the UK are struggling to find light at the end of the UK’s worst ever economic slump.

Supporting the town centre and local businesses is a top priority… – Cllr Keith Ferry

To keep the momentum going Harrow Council will spend £1.8m to spend on the Town Centre which was awarded through the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund (OLF). The OLF, launched by the Mayor in June 2011, is a three-year initiative dedicated to strengthening the vibrancy and growth of high streets.

The funding will pay for the town centre management, festivals, events and markets in the town centre, creation of a new town centre park in Lowlands Road , and improvements to the main shopping street, St Ann ‘s Road, in ongoing efforts to attract more shoppers and visitors.

A BID team is currently reaching out to Harrow town centre businesses to hear what retailers, restaurateurs, publicans, solicitors, accountants and other local businesses would like to see in Harrow Town Centre. Harrow ‘s ambition is to develop a programme that will attract more shoppers and visitors to the town centre, and make the area an attractive location for businesses.

Source: Harrow Council

 

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