BYKER Shields in Newcastle has been shamed once again as the country’s worst high street shopping area.
At the other end of the scale Cambridge was crowned as the best, also for the second time.
Google Earth Byker Shields has shamed as the worst shopping centre in the UK
A survey of 1,000 retail locations found that Cambridge had just 5.7 percent of its available shops closed while Byker Shields had 19 percent, twice the national average.
Similarly, more than half the shops in the Newcastle location were budget or discount stores, compared to just 4.2 percent in Cambridge.
The ranking by strategic retail property consultancy Harper Dennis Hobbs (HDH) used factors including the number of upmarket shops, discount retailers, pawnbrokers and empty shops.
It also looked as the suitability of the shops available to the local shopper.
This took into consideration aspects such as the presence of discount shops where people rated value for money.
Cambridge managed to see off competition from high-profile places like the Westfield shopping centre in London as well as posh areas in the capital like Knightsbridge and Chelsea.
Jonathan De Mello, head of retail consultancy at HDH, said: “The changing face of the high street means retailers need to be confident their investment is likely to pay off.
“Quality retailers don’t want to be surrounded by empty units, discount retailers and betting shops, which are a clear indicator of deprivation in the area.”
James Ebel, chief executive of HDH, said: “This latest piece of research from HDH shows that Cambridge City Centre continues to be the healthiest retail district in Britain.
And the worst
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“The city benefits from its heritage as a centre for academia, as well as its location – less than an hour from London – which draws day-trippers as well as affluent residents.”
Mr Ebel added that London has also performed well, with seven of the top 10 retail centres located in the capital.
They include the world-famous West End, along with the office worker-orientated Canary Wharf and smaller affluent suburbs such as Richmond.
Alamy Cambridge came out top in the survey
Getty – Contributor Cambridge saw off competition from places like Knightsbridge, pictured, where Harrods is based
Getty – Contributor The King’s Road in Chelsea is famous for its shops but could only manage fourth place
Alamy The Bluewater shopping centre in Kent came fifth overall
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