Drop in rate of store closures

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Shop closures have fallen by 11 per cent across Yorkshire and Humberside in the first half of 2014, but openings have reduced by a third, say accountants PwC and Local Data Company.

From a peak of more than 20 closures a day in the first six months of 2012, to 18 in the same period in 2013, the rate has fallen again to 16 a day in the first half of 2014.

A study of 500 town centres across Great Britain showed 3,003 outlets closed in the first half compared to 2,597 openings, a net reduction of 406 shops.

This is mirrored in Yorkshire and Humberside where closures in the region have reduced by 11 per cent for the first half, from 244 last year to 216 this year.

But year on year the gulf between openings and closures has widened.

The number of openings fell by 35 per cent this year, leading to a net reduction of 45 stores in the region.

Sheffield was one of the few towns to have a net increase, with 19 new stores opening over the first six months of the year, while 13 closed.

The opening of Trinity,a large shopping centre in Leeds, also bolstered the number of openings.