Padiham cuts empty shops by 50% to buck national trend

Padiham is bucking the national trend
Padiham is bucking the national trend
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Padiham is bucking the national trend of decline after cutting empty shops by more than 50%.

The town centre has halved the number of vacant shops on the high street in just nine months.

A survey of the town’s shopping area found 9.7% of shops were empty in October compared to 20.4% at the beginning of this year.

The town’s booming businesses are also ahead of the regional (12.4%) and national average vacancy rate (11.1%).

Town centre manager Tony Fitzgerald, who has been at the forefront of the high street revival, said it was a remarkable turnaround.

He said: “Padiham’s on the up, and people can see that. It’s starting to attract a lot of positive attention and we will be building on that.”

The success has followed the arrival of the multi-million-pound Tesco superstore in October last year.

Coun. Shah Hussain, Burnley Council’s executive member for regeneration and economic development, said: “This is marvellous news and reflects a real turnaround. It shows what can be done by supporting local businesses and it’s the result of a lot of hard work. It couldn’t have been done without the backing of local shopkeepers and businesses.”

Padiham Town Team is now looking to bring in more money to the town with a £1m. Heritage Lottery Fund bid to further boost regeneration efforts.

Sorrel Holland, who was chair of the Town Team until last month and a director of Physiofusion,added: “A lot of hard work by businesses and the council has paid off and the town centre is looking better than ever. 

“I would urge people to pay us a visit and walk the length of our historic high street to see just how many vibrant independent businesses we have here.”

Read this Friday’s Padiham Express for a full report on the town centre transformation.