As l have said before on this site, the High Street isn’t so much dying as changing.
B&NES seems to be making the same point in announcing that more than twenty new businesses are opening or expanding in Bath city centre.
Homeware and clothing traders, gift shops, food and drink outlets and a leisure venue are among the new businesses bringing properties back into use.
New real estate data for Bath shows that vacancy rates for retail premises are currently between 3% and 4%, which is significantly lower than the 10.2% average High Street vacancy rate in the UK. Footfall in Bath city centre is also now almost recovered to 2019 levels (data provided by Bath Business Improvement District).
Recent business openings in Bath city centre have included Haus Homewares, Beats of Bath, Kokoro, Pieminister, Sweet Little Things, Lane 7, Edesia and Sobey’s Vintage.
The businesses opening soon include:
- Burger King, Southgate Street
- Budo Ba, Argyle Street
- The Milsom – Milsom Street
- Leon – Stall Street
- Knoops, Old Bond Street
- Rosa’s Thai, Cheap Street
- Watchhouse, Old Bond Street
- Zara, Southgate
Several other stores are also coming to Bath soon with planning and licensing applications having been submitted to the council.
The council’s income from its commercial properties is built into the budget as a funding source that contributes to providing frontline services.
Councillor Mark Roper, cabinet member for Economic Development, Regeneration and Growth, said: “It is very encouraging to see this excellent take-up of our commercial properties and the number of new businesses coming into Bath. Recently we’ve seen strong demand from a mix of retailers who have been attracted to our commercial lettings and the fact that Bath is a great location to do business. We are pleased to be able to support them and ultimately help revitalise our high streets.”
Allison Herbert, Chief Executive of Bath Business Improvement District, said: “I am very pleased to see so many new businesses coming into the city. The BID team works hard to engage with prospective investors, providing insights from our data projects and pointing them in the right direction.”
Allan Lloyd, Partner at CSquared in Bath, said: “Our data shows that there is just a 3-4% vacancy rate in Bath city centre for retail premises in Bath at the moment, space in the city is in high demand.”
The council also helps businesses to thrive in Bath through its business and skills team Invest in B&NES, which offers tailored support to businesses at any stage and size including 1-1 advice, signposting to grant funding and support with marketing and strategy.