Majority support empty shops being taken over by charities or community groups, survey finds

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26th February 2019 14:20 - Voluntary

Majority supports empty shops being taken over by charities or community groups: In a bid to keep British high streets vibrant, a survey has revealed that 7 in 10 favour handing over empty retail units to community groups or charities, until the premises is taken over on a permanent basis.

Charity pop-ups have transformed otherwise empty or run-down plots of land or buildings say CAF such as Pop Brixton, - a partnership between the community and Lambeth Council.

The current landscape

As it stands, one in ten shops on the British high street is currently vacant (*British Retail Consortium) - the numbers even greater in Scotland with one in eight empty.

The survey of 1,176 adults found 78% of those polled wanted to see empty shops on the high street filled as soon as possible, with 87% of those aged 65+ saying the same.

A ‘valuable service’

Looking at how charity shops are viewed in the UK, the poll found that more than 6 in 10 (62%) respondents said they provide a ‘valuable service’, rising to  66% of women polled.

It also found that charity shops were frequented regularly by 37% of respondents.

Susan Pinkney, head of research at CAF, said: "It’s amazing to see that more than 20 million British people regularly pop to a charity shop, and clearly there is an appetite to see empty shops used in a way that supports the local community.

"Everyone wants to see our high streets thrive, and charity and community shops can be a great way to offer a valuable service while keeping our town centres bustling with activity."

* Image by StockSnap on Pixabay

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