City centre recovery could be on its way as new figures show the number of empty properties in the centre of Preston has fallen.Advertisement
Now just over one in ten business properties stand empty compared to one in four in 2012.
Preston Business Improvement District say 12 per cent of properties are now empty, and this is lower than the regional average of 18 per cent.
Business leaders have hailed the figures as a sign the city centre is on the mend.
Mark Whittle from Preston BID said: “The city centre is the heart of Preston and it’s great to see there has been such a considerable improvement in occupancy levels over the past two years.
“Empty shops are something which will always deter shoppers and visitors alike and that is why such an emphasis has been placed on filling as many of the voids on the high street as possible.
“For its part, the BID is working closely with traders in the city centre to ensure they are not only getting support they need to stay on top, but doing what we can to get more people visiting Preston.
“People don’t have to come to town any longer; we need to ensure they ‘want’ to come to town.
“Improvements in the street-scene, vibrancy through events, regular promotion of the city, are all vital to attracting visitors, things the BID does well.”
The city centre has seen proposals in the last few months of investment in Preston Bus Station, expanding the Fishergate new roadworks scheme and the takeover of the Guild Hall by Simon Rigby.
Preston City Council’s city centre plan sets out how they want to see the city centre develop – with five different areas earmarked for development including Winckley Square via lottery cash and Church Street with the Queen Street retail park.
Have you seen an impact on the city centre and empty properties? Let us know in the comments below