Surprise as some of Wales’ most charming high streets branded ‘UK’s worst’ by real estate consultancy
Some of Wales’ most charming high streets have been branded the UK’s worst by a real estate consultancy.
Harper Dennis Hobbs considered Cardigan high street (above) the third-worst in the UK, and it was joined in the bottom 10 by five others from Wales.
Chepstow in Monmouthshire, Tonypandy in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire and Newtown in Powys all made the list of worst high streets, despite many being bustling rural towns and tourist attractions.
Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb said that it was “sad to see Haverfordwest (and other Welsh towns) appear in this list.
“It underlines the importance of Pembrokeshire regeneration efforts and the bid we are putting together to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.”
Others however were surprised to see towns like Cardigan, whose high street includes an 11th-century castle and 19th-century Guildhall, considered some of the UK’s worst.
“Cardigan high street is absolutely prospering currently,” Dafydd Roberts replied to the publication of list on Twitter. “Independent stores aplenty with award-winning restaurants dotted throughout the town. If that’s the fourth-worst in the UK, then it’s in a much better state than what I believe it to be.”
Published every two years, Harper Dennis Hobbs “vitality index” is based on shop vacancy rates, the proportion of upmarket shops in each area, the proportion of value-led shops, and the proportion of “low-quality” shops such as pawnbrokers and bookmakers.
The list was published in February but the 10 worst high streets was published by the i newspaper today.
Girvan, South Ayrshire was considered the worst high street in the UK while Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire was listed as the best.
Graham Soult, a member of the UK Government’s High Streets Task Force, said that he found “this kind of coverage of ‘Britain’s worst high streets’ very disappointing”.
“It doesn’t achieve anything constructive, and, on the contrary, risks damaging existing traders in those places who are working their socks off to trade successfully,” he said.