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Newmarket and Mildenhall bucking the national trend for shop vacancy rates

Newmarket is bucking the national trend, with fewer than 10 per cent of its town centre shops standing empty.

In data published by the Association of Town and City Management, it was revealed Newmarket and Mildenhall had 'healthy' vacancy rates.

The figures showed Newmarket 4.7 per cent of the stores were standing empty and in Mildenhall it was 7.1 per cent.

Newmarket clock tower roundable Picture Mark Westley (23936892)
Newmarket clock tower roundable Picture Mark Westley (23936892)

The organisation considers 10 per cent or less to be an indicator of a healthy High Street.

A West Suffolk Council spokesman said: “We work with partners to ensure the continuing success of our high streets as a place where people go to shop, to eat and drink, to enjoy leisure and cultural activities and take part in social events.

“We have also identified and invested in a number of key sites and are leading on shaping the future growth of our towns as a place to live, work and enjoy free time.

“That is one of the reasons that despite the challenges facing retailers up and down the country, our high streets continue to attract entrepreneurs who are willing to put their faith in West Suffolk as a place to start their new business venture.”

Other areas of the county did not fare so well, with one in 10 shops lying empty in East Suffolk.

Andy Walker, head of policy and research at Suffolk Chamber, said a business rates review would be a ‘positive step’ in helping to support high streets and the retail sector.