Shopping boom in Hucknall town centre bucks the national trend

Hucknall town centre, which has been revamped by pedestrianisation on High Street.
Hucknall town centre, which has been revamped by pedestrianisation on High Street.

Hucknall’s town centre is one of the few in the country that is showing signs of a shopping boom, says Ashfield District Council.

Across the UK, struggling high streets are facing a fight for survival, according to new analysis released by the District Councils Network (DCN).

Figures show that the number of planning applications for retail units has almost halved in five years as more shoppers migrate online. And the DCN went as far as to say that shopping centres were in a state of emergency.

However, Hucknall “appears to be bucking the trend”, says the council, which has received 40 retail planning applications in the past year, its highest number for five years.

“Hucknall saw the majority of these applications, with 17,” said Theresa Hodgkinson, the council’s director of place and communities.

“What’s more, the shop vacancy rate was six per cent, compared to a national average of 10.6 per cent, so Hucknall is clearly thriving.

“As a council, we are committed to the revival of our town centres. Playing their part in the revival of Hucknall are the completion of the bypass, investment in pedestrianisation and the public realm and the new conservation area protecting a number of the town’s historic buildings.

“A mix of high street shops, along with a strong, independent offer, is making Hucknall an increasingly popular shopping destination.

“The Friday market is fully subscribed, and we hope that the new cinema will reinvigorate the town centre even further and provide a boost to the night-time economy.

“Hucknall demonstrates how important and effective investment is in a town, which is why were are looking to further invest.”