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Entrepreneurs Panel

Jennie Johnson
Jeremy Roberts
Julie Meyer
Richard O'Sullivan
David Pollock
Michael Oliver
Laura Tenison
Debbie Pierce
Steve Purdham
Charlie Mullins
Brian Hay
Tony Caldeira

Shop vacancy rate lowest since 2009

Britain's shop vacancy rate fell to 12.4 per cent in April, the lowest since December 2009.

Figures from the Local Data Company show the rate is down by 0.6 per cent in the past year.

The leisure vacancy rate was eight per cent in April, down 0.1 per cent on the previous month, while the all retail rate was 11.2 per cent, also down by 0.1 per cent.

The town centre vacancy rate fell for the first time in three months, dropping by 0.2 per cent to 10.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, the rate for shopping centres was 13.2 per cent, down by 1.4 per cent year-on-year.

Long-term vacancies decreased in April compared with March, with the number of units empty for more than three years down to 11,839. Skelmersdale in Lancashire had the largest percentage of long-term vacant shops at 31 per cent.

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Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

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