Harrow sees retail void fall

Harrow Council says it is bucking the trend with increasing retail footfall and fewer empty units by following the Mary Portas steps.

The council says that by working with local traders and aspiring entrepreneurs, they have managed to stem the decline on it’s high streets, with the number of vacant shops in Harrow falling from 23.9% in April 2010 to 13.77% in June 2012.

They attribute the success partly to a council decision to relax planning laws – a Local Development Order to allow change of use without planning permission – and a free merchandising programme has also added to the success.

Now they have announced a new, permanent monthly street market for North Harrow on Pinner Road and Station Road.

A ‘Taster’ market in North Harrow in March attracted over 4,000 people. Harrow Council has set up free stalls and business training for residents on Job Seekers allowance to encourage new trade.

Cllr Keith Ferry, portfolio holder for planning and economic development on Harrow Council, said: “We are bucking the retail trend nationally by working with our local traders and listening to what our local market needs. This street market is just part of our bag of tricks when it comes to bringing the bustle back to North Harrow.

“Supporting our town centres is one of Harrow Council’s top priorities and the market is the latest in a long line of initiatives that are slowly bringing a buzz back to North Harrow.”

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