‘Vibrant mix’ of businesses helps to improve city

Lee Hockaday, commercial director at St Vincent College, Gosport

Gosport cinema ‘has to be sustainable’ says director

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THE shop occupancy rate in Portsmouth is above the national average.

A report by Alan Cufley, the city council’s head of corporate assets, business and standards, has revealed that the number of shops filled in Southsea, Cosham, North End and the city centre is between 92 and 95 per cent.

The two main privately-run centres, Cascades Shopping Centre and Gunwharf Quays, came in at 85 and 100 per cent respectively.

In comparison, figures compiled by Springboard Research show that the national average is 89 per cent. The overall shop occupancy rate in the south east is 90.3 per cent.

Mr Cufley put down Portsmouth’s success down to a good turnover in vacant units and a ‘vibrant mix’ of start-up businesses moving into the district centres.

Councillor Lee Hunt, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: ‘The strong showing by Portsmouth in the face of changing consumer spending habits, like online shopping, sees Portsmouth stepping up to challenge the hard economic climate better than many other similarly-sized cities across the UK.’