Vacancy rates in Altrincham are now standing at 14.3% – down 10% from just four years ago.
Official figures released by Trafford Council have shown that the business vacancy rate in the town centre dropped from 17% over the past year.
Four years ago, the Council estimated the vacancy rate to be 24% – and back in 2010, Altrincham was infamously labelled a “ghost town” by The Sun on account of figures from The Local Data Company which claimed to show it had Britain’s worst vacancy rate at over 30%.
But the leader of Trafford Council claimed its public realm investment in Altrincham and over £220,000 paid out in interest free town centre loans had contributed to the improving picture.
Cllr Sean Anstee said: “These results show continued investment which improves the infrastructure and look of a town centre will attract businesses from across the retail and leisure spectrum, creating areas that residents and visitors will want to visit.
“One of our key focuses has been to reduce and reverse the number of vacant business premises in these areas. Not only are we achieving this but doing so in a way that has bucked the North West trend. We have seen 24 new businesses occupying previously empty premises; this not only improves the appeal of our town centres but has brought in around £900,000 investment from the private sector and created nearly 90 jobs.
“And we will continue this work by developing current schemes and introducing new ones. We will work closely with our partners in committing to provide ongoing support and assistance to keep our town centres as key thriving retail, leisure and residential hubs for residents and visitors.”
The vacancy rate in Altrincham is still high however when compare to other areas in Trafford. Sale currently stands at 6.8% (11.6% last year) with Urmston at 5.7% (6.6% last year), with only Stretford at 28.1% (33.8% last year) with a worse rate.
The council said its continuing improvement work will be aided by the creation of the Business Improvement District (BID), as well as the beginning of the Altair scheme, the refurbishment of the Stamford Quarter, a planned new Health and Wellbeing Centre and several planning applications in the pipeline for building conversions and redevelopment.