The vacancy rate in Altrincham has dipped below 10% for the first time in a decade – as footfall figures in the town centre continue to buck the national trend.
Seven years after Altrincham hit the headlines as having Britain’s worst vacancy rate of over 30%, new figures released by Altrincham Unlimited have shown that the proportion of empty units in the town now stands at 9.5%, down from 14.4% a year ago.
Adding to the good news, visitor numbers to the town continue to rise – after a 28.1% year-on-year increase over Christmas, football numbers are up 8.2% on the previous year for the first three months of 2017.
That’s despite much of Stamford New Road, a main shopping and traffic artery, been closed to traffic for much of that time due to delayed public realm works.
Martin Duff, Chair of Altrincham Unlimited (the Business Improvement District) and owner of Randalls Jewellery, said: “Following a high profile seasonal campaign, visitor numbers over Christmas were exceptional in Altrincham, but the big question was would this trend continue into 2017? We are delighted to see that it has, and that Altrincham continues to outperform the UK in general by some margin.”
Katie Bland, BID Manager for Altrincham Unlimited, added: “To see the vacancy rate falling below 10% is a real milestone for Altrincham, and comes on the back of some high quality new openings in both the retail and food and drink sectors.
“It’s particularly pleasing to see a number of successful businesses from elsewhere in the north west choosing Altrincham for their next venture; for example Porta, who have expanded their authentic tapas bar offer into Altrincham from Chester; The Cellar, a new bar from the team behind The Drawing Room in West Didsbury and The Contemporary Art Gallery, who are based in Chester and have chosen Altrincham for their second venue.
“Altrincham is thriving; this is the result of focused effort and hard work by numerous stakeholders over the past six years to improve the town. We’ll be working hard this year to maintain the upward trend in footfall and to continue to encourage investment in Altrincham.”