Salisbury Business Improvement District

Optimism as Salisbury continues to attract new business

15th December 2020

As 2020 comes to a close it feels like it has been a year of bad news but despite an ongoing pandemic and two lockdowns to struggle through, there is good news as Salisbury continues to attract new business.

Since January there has been a range of new independents to launch across the city centre ranging from hairdressers and a toy shop, to a dentist and pizza restaurant.

The list of new businesses includes:

Robin McGowan, Chief Executive of Salisbury BID, said: “The appearance of so many new names on our streets proves that despite one of the toughest years in memory for businesses, that there is reason to be optimistic. Salisbury is a beautiful city and offers many opportunities for business owners. It has been a dark year but we see the light at the end of the tunnel and are ready for a thriving 2021.”

Salisbury, with the launch of these new businesses, is bucking the trend when it comes to its retail vacancy rate.

In October 2020, figures collected by Salisbury BID and Springboard, the number of empty ground floor units in Salisbury city centre stood at 10.6% which is lower than both the South West average (12.8%) and UK average (11.3%).

“2020 has been a very difficult year for the retail sector with many high-profile occupiers lost,” says Dean Speer, Partner of Myddelton & Major and Vice Chair of Salisbury BID.

“We are however seeing hopeful signs as Salisbury has attracted a number of new occupiers to take some of the spaces that have appeared in the city.

“Town and City centres have been changing and this change has been accelerated by the pandemic. I believe that in the future we will still have a vibrant and thriving city centre, but the mix of occupiers will change as we see more services offered on the High Street rather than just things to buy.

“I think we will also see a resurgence of more independent individual shops offering something more unique to buy rather than so many big chain store brands. We find people are endlessly entrepreneurial and are approached everyday by potential tenants with new ideas. Let’s hope that optimism continues and 2021 will be a time for renewal and growth and at Myddelton & Major we look forward to engaging with those occupiers”

Year on year the vacancy rates show that Salisbury has seen a modest rise in empty shops, from 8.6% in October 2019, however, there has been a fall since the last figures in July revealed the rate stood at 10.8%. With customers heading back to the city centre following a second lockdown, and the launch of a Covid-19 vaccination programme, it’s hoped this downward trend will continue through to an optimistic 2021.