Number of vacant shops in ‘vibrant’ Hailsham falls below national average

New figures show Hailsham is below the national average when it comes to the number of vacant shops in the town centre.

According to a recent vacancy rate survey conducted by Springboard, the percentage of vacant ground floor units in Hailsham currently stands at 6.7 per cent, a drop from the 7.7 per cent recorded in October 2021.

The regional average is 11.4 per cent and the national average is 11.7 per cent.

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Over the last few years the town has welcomed a range of new businesses, some of which have expanded and moved to larger sites.

Hailsham Town Centre improvements (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170208-113055008

Deputy town clerk and business enterprise manager Mickey Caira, said, “The percentage of vacant commercial units in Hailsham has decreased considerably during the last quarter and still falls below the current regional and national averages, which is excellent news for Hailsham. Hailsham is definitely the place to be for all shopping needs.

“Linked to this, while it may be tempting to shop solely online, people need to consider all of the implications for local bricks and mortar businesses. Many Hailsham residents haven’t yet incorporated buying local into their lifestyles and it’s imperative that people realise what unique benefits local products have to offer.

“By switching your shopping habits and supporting your local shops, you can make a big difference and really help to keep Hailsham buzzing and prevent further vacant retail units in the town.”

Councillor Nigel Coltman, vice-chairman of the town council’s Communities Committee, said he is delighted to see Hailsham’s business activity strengthening and expects to see continual improvement in the future.

He said, “The town council and Hailsham Forward have key priorities to work with local businesses to deliver plans to help address the issue of empty shops further and work towards a 100 per cent occupancy rate for retail and business units.

“Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns had affected the local economy to a considerable degree, it’s great to see enterprising people continue to set up businesses in our town.

“We have an increasingly vibrant town centre – and the opening of these new businesses is a great addition!”