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Frome’s town centre is ‘thriving’! Town bucks trend of rise in vacant shops

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FROME’S town centre is thriving, bucking the national trend of struggling high streets.

According to a recent report from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard survey, empty shops in the UK’s town centres are at their highest for four years.  In July this year, the vacancy rate was 10.3%, its highest level since January 2015. But in Frome, the vacancy rate was just 3%, according to estimated figures from Frome Town Council from a survey carried out in July. 

There is also more good news for the town centre – results from the annual benchmarking survey commissioned by the town council, show that businesses and shoppers have given the town centre a big ‘thumbs up’.

The Frome survey shows that confidence in Frome’s business owners is on the rise, with 80% of businesses in the town centre expecting their turnover to increase over the next 12 months. 

And almost 95% of town centre users surveyed said they would recommend a visit to Frome’s town centre. 

Mayor of Frome, cllr Mark Dorrington said, “We’re delighted that the feedback is so positive and it’s great to see our hard work is helping to ensure that Frome has a vibrant and thriving town centre, especially in comparison to the national average. 

“We know there is always more to be done and will continue to offer support for businesses and increase our offer for residents and visitors alike.”

Those surveyed were also asked how they would improve the town centre – and results show that car parking continues to be an issue.

Suggestions put forward by those surveyed to improve the town centre included free parking and improved security from businesses; and better bus services, cheaper parking and more men’s clothing shops.

To find out more about the town’s benchmarking report, produced by People & Places Insight Ltd using data collected by Frome College students on behalf of Frome Town Council,  go to www.frometowncouncil. gov.uk/town-benchmarking/

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