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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New report shows how low shop vacancy rates are in Ormskirk

A new report has shown that shop vacancy rates in Ormskirk are very low when compared to the rest of the North West.  

Latest figures from retail experts Springboard shows that 4.8% of ground floor retail units in Ormskirk are empty. This is the lowest of the 15 towns and cities which provided information for Springboard’s report, and compares to an average of 13.5% for the North West and 10.4% for the United Kingdom.  

The figure represents a drop in vacancy rates from 6.37% when the Council did a survey in October 2014. New businesses that have opened up since then include Junk Bar on Church Street and Salt and Liqour on Derby Street. Other good news is the Brighter Future Workshop has decided to continue using the former Ormskirk Shopmobility base on Two Saints Car Park.  

West Lancashire Borough Council works with partners and businesses to ensure Ormskirk and all the borough’s town and village centres are as attractive and appealing as possible to visitors and investors.  

The Council works with property agents to market vacant property and the Business Rates Retail Relief scheme is continuing for the 2015/16 financial year. The authority has provided part of the funding for the refreshing of the Moor Street pedestrianised area, in partnership with Lancashire County Council. The Borough Council also supports Love Ormskirk, a private-sector led initiative that aims to encourage new businesses, shoppers and visitors into the town centre.  

Councillor David Westley, Council Leader and portfolio holder for Regeneration, said: “This report is excellent news and shows that Ormskirk continues to be a good place to work, shop and do business. A range of facilities including shops and restaurants are complemented by Ormskirk Market, which is managed by the Borough Council, and brings in many visitors. The Council also runs and supports events all year round including the very popular Ormskirk ‘Motorfest’ which attract visitors into the heart of the town.  

“The Council is working with partners on a draft strategy for Ormskirk Town Centre to ensure it continues to be vibrant as our high streets change. We have had a good response to our public consultation on this, but we want to hear from as many people as possible and you have until Tuesday 14 April 2015 to have your say.”  

To find out more about the draft strategy, and to fill in the simple questionnaire, please go to Your views.  

Some of the main proposals covered in the strategy include:

  • Looking to improve the evening/night time economy to help ensure that the town centre continues to be a vibrant and safe environment after 5pm, including the possible introduction of food and drink festivals
  • Reviewing the current pricing strategy of the town centre car parks. In particular, reviewing if offering free car parking for shorter periods of time (such as half an hour) would help attract shoppers who may want to pick up one or two items.
  • Improving the current transport and access arrangement in the town
  • Developing a website dedicated to Ormskirk town centre
  • Improving and enhancing the appearance and appeal of the town centre including making the most of the town’s historic character

If you do not have access to the internet you can request a printed questionnaire by contacting the Economic Regeneration Unit on 01695 585122 or by email info.edu@westlancs.gov.uk.

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