By Dan Matthews - Feb 10, 2014
The number of empty shop premises in the UK has dropped to its lowest level in four years, according to new data.
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Annual research by The Local Data Company, which monitors business activity in 2,000 locations, said 13.9 per cent of shops remained empty in December 2013.
That compares with a peak of 14.6 per cent during 2012, with many shops being filled by food and leisure businesses.
But the researchers warned that 50,000 premises remained empty and that figures were better in the south of England.
In some parts of the North, empty shop numbers were continuing to rise, they said.
Empty shops are town campaigners’ top concern, with fears that many high streets could become ghost towns.
The recent downturn in the economy, the rise of internet shopping and perceived high business rates have all contributed, according to analysts.
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