Lancing: highest rate of empty shops in Adur

Empty shops in Lancing are a familiar sight
Empty shops in Lancing are a familiar sight
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LANCING has a higher rate of charity shops, vacant shops and bookmakers than in the rest of Adur, according to council figures.

The statistics reveal that of the 167 shops in the village, nine are currently empty, a rate of 5.39 per cent, compared with seven in Shoreham, or 3.43 per cent of its 204 shops.

The figures for betting shops, often a sign of a struggling high street, paint a similar picture.

Lancing has four bookmakers, double the number Shoreham has, and 2.4 per cent of the total.

The margins for charity shops are narrower, but Lancing still comes out on top, with eight, or 4.79 per cent.

While Shoreham has one more with nine, they only make up 4.41 per cent of all the shops in the town.

Lancing is doing well compared with the national average for empty shops which, for towns and villages with less than 200 shops, is around nine per cent.

Sompting and Southwick have lower rates than Lancing in all the above categories.

The situation in Worthing is even worse, with 7 per cent of its shops standing empty.

Responding to the figures, Adur Council’s regeneration manager Clare Mangan said: “Lancing is not alone in showing the impact of the changes to the high street and the changing patterns of how people shop.”

“The implementation of the Lancing Vision and the investment already secured will have a significant impact on how the village moves forwards and adapts to economic pressures.”

Clare highlighted progress that had already been made under Lancing Vision, a plan to regenerate the village heart and seafront.

The list included the redevelopment of Queensway, due to start in September, which aims to encourage new businesses into vacant shops.

Clare also pointed out that five shopkeepers had taken advantage of a council grant to renovate their shop fronts, with a further three in the pipeline.

Other recent improvements include a wayfinding ‘monolith’ at Lancing railway station and the resurfacing of Beach Green car park.

Benches are being installed around the village at stop-off points on the way to the centre, funding to refurbish the toilets at Beach Green has been secured, and the council hopes to install showers on the beach.

The style and location for the new village clock has also been agreed.

Sompting Parish Council is implementing a retail policy as part of its neighbourhood plan, in response to concerns from the village’s business community that the number of food and drink outlets could be ‘undermining the function of the village centre’.