ATCM: LDC figures on retail vacancies are ‘fatally flawed’
Vacant retail unit figures published by the Local Data Company (LDC) are inaccurate, the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) has said.
Martin Blackwell, chief executive of the ATCM, has accused the LDC of using incorrect and outdated boundary criteria to form figures on town centre vacancy rates, meaning that the results did not effectively reflect the real situation.
Stating that the boundaries used by the LDC to define town centres had not updated since 2004, the ATCM has emphasised that future releases should receive local verification.
Mr Blackwell said: ‘The figures released by the LDC regarding town centre vacancy rates are, we believe, fatally flawed. In many locations, very significant changes have taken place that fundamentally render the figures released at best meaningless and at worst a brake on investment that might lead to a vicious circle.’
Cllr Dave Harling, executive member for regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen BC, said: ‘We don't recognise the high vacancy rates quoted by the LDC for Blackburn town centre. Although our vacancy rates have increased this year in common with many town centres, independent research has told us that the town centre is performing well against other similar centres in the North West.’
Eileen Ormand, Blackpool's town centre and business improvement district manager, said: ‘The LDC has once again reported vacancy rate figures for Blackpool that are as damaging for the town as they are inaccurate and out of date.’
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