Ely Has Weathered The Recession Storm Better Than Most, According To A New Report
PUBLISHED: 14:21 17 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:13 04 May 2010
ELY has weathered the recession better than the majority of towns and cities in the UK, a new report has revealed. The report, carried out by the Local Data Company (LDC), looked at the state of high streets in 700 retail centres around the UK and found t
ELY has weathered the recession better than the majority of towns and cities in the UK, a new report has revealed.
The report, carried out by the Local Data Company (LDC), looked at the state of high streets in 700 retail centres around the UK and found that the number of shops sitting empty in Ely is less than half the national average.
Little more than five per cent of shops in the city have closed during the recession according to the report, one of the lowest rates in the region and far below the national average of around 12 per cent.
The news was cautiously welcomed by the district council's Business Development team leader Darren Hill who told the Ely Standard: "In general the conditions on the high street in Ely reflects the overall strength of the local economy. Unemployment in the district is 2.2 per cent compared to the national average of 4.1 per cent, we have more and more new businesses starting up while our e-space business centres are running at 99 per cent occupancy.
"We don't want to get carried away as there are still many companies who are finding conditions tough but by basing themselves in East Cambridgeshire they stand a better chance of succeeding as the economy recovers."
Of the 15 major centres in the eastern region, Ely was ranked second lowest on the list behind only St Ives, which had just 4.9 per cent of shops closed. The worst performer in the region was Norwich with around 12 per cent of shops forced to close.
Margate in Kent had the most empty shops in UK with a staggering 27 per cent of shops closed.
Tammy Driver, chairman of Ely Chamber of Commerce, said: "Despite the difficult economic conditions, Ely continues to offer an exceptional variety of independent and well-established retail units and we are delighted to see that the empty unit figures remain a long way below the national average.
Though a recent survey carried out by the Chamber showed that three quarters of small and medium businesses felt that the recession was not yet over for their business, Ely has steadily attracted new investment and last week saw the opening of a new wool shop in Market Square,
Christine Brown, co-owner of the city's newest retail business, Yarn on the Square, said: "When we decided to embark upon this new business venture we knew instantly that Ely would provide exactly the right environment for it to be successful and it is wonderful to be joining so many other independent shops in the town centre."
A start reminder that the effects of the recession are still being felt came with the news last week that both the Carpet Emporium on High Street Passage and the Currys electrical store on the High Street have closed or are preparing to close their doors.
INFO: Would you like to keep up to date with what's happening in the East Cambridgeshire business community? Why not sign up to our new E-Business Alerts, see Page 16.