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Horsham in UK’s top ten most resilient high streets

30 Nov 2020

Horsham has been listed as ninth in Property Week’s exclusive CACI analysis of 100 UK retail locations that have proved most resilient during the Covid-19 crisis. Significantly Horsham is the only place in the South East to make the top 25.

Property Week quotes John Platt, director at CACI, saying:

“Consumers moved forward five years in the first two weeks of April, when the UK went into lockdown. Behaviour we now think of as the new normal was already under way, but lockdown accelerated it rapidly. In this year’s ranking, we focus on five key shifts in consumer behaviour we believe will reshape the retail landscape, creating a ranking of the top 100 most resilient towns and cities.”

John Platt, director at CACI

There is evidence of this performance, with the town continuing to attract incoming investment with new outlets set to open in East Street, West Street, Swan Walk and Piries Place, and new businesses already opened including West Street’s House of Tweed and last weekend’s start-up Gwyn’s Bakery in the Bishopric.

Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for the Local Economy, Cllr Paul Clarke is sure the report will help to boost the town further saying:

“I am convinced that Horsham and our District’s other market town high streets will bounce back stronger than many other larger centres after the pandemic.

“We are well placed to benefit from the reduction of people commuting out of the area, and are delighted that new independent businesses are stepping forward to fill the gaps left by some national chains, creating just the right ambiance for a traditional market town.

Our work will continue to be directed at supporting and encouraging independent businesses and local employers to make the District a successful place in which to operate.

Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for the Local Economy, Cllr Paul Clarke

Horsham District high streets as a whole have done better than most with the number of new businesses opening this year well into double figures, including a new butchers in Steyning, a fresh pie shop in Cowfold, and a Swedish café and new bakers in Horsham. Footfall prior to the latest lockdown was returning strongly, with a number of businesses recording strong income albeit from less customers.

A feature set to continue and recognised by the Council, is the increased importance of click and collect and home delivery options for a broad variety of shops and catering businesses which must now recognise these channels as an essential part of their offer.

The Council’s Buy Local initiatives this winter are focused on supporting purchasing from local independent business across the board online or offline, on the high street or off it.

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