East Anglia: Region’s High Streets score well in Experian ‘Helping people make great places’ survey

High Streets Minister Brandon Lewis.

High Streets Minister Brandon Lewis. - Credit: Nick Butcher

High streets in the East of England are outperforming those in most other parts of the country, a major new survey has revealed.

Occupancy rates in the East are the highest of any UK region or nation apart from London, the study by business information specialist Experian shows.

And the East is also achieving a better mix of businesses on its high streets, with the region having seen among the biggest increases in convenience stores and cafés while it is towards the lower end of the scale for growth in charity shops and betting shops.

National trends identified in the report include the growing popularity of “click and collect”, with online purchases being picked up from the retailer’s local store, and the demand of shoppers for value and service.

The report, entitled “Helping people make great places”, was commissioned to accompany the launch of a new competition to identify the nation’s best high streets.

The Great British High Streets initiative is being run by the Future High Street Forum and the Association of Town Centre Managers, and is being officially launched today by High Streets Minister Brandon Lewis.

Awards will be made in categories including City Centre, Town Centre, Market Town, Coastal Community, Village and Local Centre (such as a precinct or parade of shops), plus a London-specific category taking into account the unique character of the capital.

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“Whether it is a market town, coastal village or city centre, there are so many high streets across Britain doing fantastic work and now every community will be able to get behind their home town’s bid to show how popular they are,” said Mr Lewis, who is MP for Great Yarmouth.

“This competition will discover where the Great British High Streets are and celebrate their brilliance. I want the public to tell my panel of experts why their area should win.

“The most popular will get all the accolades that come with being named the best in Britain when we announce the winners in the autumn,” he added.

For further details of the competition, visit the dedicated website www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk .