According to research by Local Data Company, empty shops in high streets trebled in the last 12 months. Brighton remains ahead of the game.
Retail vacancy has risen from just over four per cent in the middle of 2008 to nearly 12 per cent at the end of June this year.
Among the towns and cities hardest hit are Derby, Blackpool. Liverpool, Wolverhampton and Leeds, which all have vacancy rates of more than 20 per cent.
Croydon with a 15.4% vacancy is the only retail centre in the south-east to appear in the top 10 towns and cities with the highest vacancy rates. In Brighton city centre the vacancy rate rose to from 4.75% to 6.9% between October 2008 and the end of March 2009 (see earlier story). Another survey will be completed shortly.
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