Cities Outlook 2022, the Centre for Cities annual health check of the UK’s economy, has revealed that York had the fourth-smallest share of vacant store units after June 2021 and overall is having a strong post-covid recovery.
The newly released report examines the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on high streets across 52 city and town centres studied, and what this means for places as they recover and grow from the pandemic.
Across the city and town centres studied, 2426 commercial units have become vacant during the pandemic, against 1374 between 2018 and 2020.
York had the fourth-smallest share of vacant store units after June 2021 with only 11.4% vacancy rate, this compares to cities such as Sunderland (28%); Stoke (29.1%) and Newport (33%), which are experiencing a sharp decline in their high streets.
The report also reveals that Covid-19 has cost businesses in the city 22 weeks of potential takings, this compares to for example 42 weeks of lost sales in London.
York’s Lib Dem Councillors have welcomed the report and the indications of a strong post-covid recovery.
Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, commented:
“This positive data and York’s overall recovery success is a testament to the proactive and strong partnership work with businesses and key partners such as the BID, Traders Associations, and Federation of Small Businesses, Indie York and Retail Forum across the city throughout the pandemic.
“There are many challenges yet ahead for our local economy and it’s clear that as a region there is a need for the Government to deliver on their levelling up promises. That is why we will continue to make the case for long term support and investment in the North and our changing high streets.
“Locally, we will continue to do all that’s possible to support our businesses and ensure the city continues a strong and sustainable recovery and work with organisations to bring back into use pockets of empty premises such as on Coney Street.”