A recent survey carried out by the Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID) has revealed that less than 8% of ground-floor retail units in Salisbury City Centre are currently empty and that a number of companies are actively seeking premises in the city.
Springboard, the company who provide Salisbury’ footfall counters, have indicated that this number is one of the lowest in the country. According to Springboard’s latest figures, the average percentage of empty shop within other UK towns and cities is 10.4%, showing that many towns and cities are faring a lot worse than Salisbury. In some areas, particularly in the north of the country, it is reported that some towns and cities have over 30% vacancy rates. BID has surveyed all the empty premises in Salisbury city centre over the past month, and has passed that information through to Springboard so that accurate comparisons can be made with
other towns and cities.
Steve Godwin, Business Manager for Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID) says it is an excellent endorsement for our city and a further sign that our economy is truly out of recession. We have seen a high level of visitors to the city this year and it is noticeable that people have a greater confidence, and are spending again. We have a lot to be grateful for and compared to many other parts of the country,
Salisbury has not only fared well, but is showing tangible signs of increased vibrancy. These latest figures show that the city is a great place for companies looking to expand or to relocate to and we have noticed recently that the level of interest from companies outside the area has increased. With a fantastic mix of retail businesses,
both national and independents, Salisbury offers a wide and diverse range of products. We have a huge number of pubs, restaurants & cafes that seem to be popular with both local residents and tourists. The variety of nationals and independents, sit alongside each other comfortably offering a great reason for people to visit the city. Our offer is strong compared to many other towns and cities and we have a great reputation for being a vibrant city. We are one of only 50 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland to have Purple Flag status which demonstrates strong partnership working. We are a safe, clean and pleasant place for a night out, and BID, Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council all work closely together to maintain this important status .We also have a strong Arts and Cultural offering, with a fine Cathedral, fantastic museums, City Hall, Arts Centre and Playhouse, all playing a big part in offering leisure activities for all ages. There has been a number of new businesses to the city recently including The Real Food Company, Pret A Manger, The York Roast Co, Paloma Lilly Florists, CEX UK Buy & Sell, Pandora, and Schuh. Otherbig names are also enquiring.
BID installed three footfall counters in the city last December and Steve says, that when the counters have been installed for a complete 12-months, they will be able to compare figures year on year and able provide an accurate footfall. When a national company looks to move to the city, they are often interested in the number
of people coming into the centre and the different times when the city is busy. Being able to supply this information is vitally important and helps a company to determine their opening hours and staffing levels. BID is looking to promote the city and the early evening offer, encouraging companies who will trade to fill the 5-8pm
gap in the evenings, particularly during the summer month.
Shoppers and visitors come to Salisbury for a variety of reasons, not just shopping which other competing centres rely upon. Salisbury should retain its recognised Identity. We are an attractive and historic city, with a high quality environment, and a strong representation of small, specialist shops. It performs a role not only as a
retail destination, but is also a strong tourist and visitor destination, as well as an important employment centre.