UTTOXETER town centre is becoming busier despite empty units - according to a business owner.
Recently revealed figures show there are 111 empty commercial units in Uttoxeter, however a business owner in the town centre have said that the town centre has recently seen an increase in footfall.
David Hunter, partner of Indulgence Coffee Lounge and a council member in Burton and District Chamber of Commerce said: “In my opinion, recently we’ve been seeing higher footfall in the town centre.
“I know that our business and others are seeing more people through the doors.
“People are feeling more confident about spending money; they are less worried about the financial future.
“We’re like a small Chester, it’s a nice place to visit, with beautiful architecture and people feel safe shopping here.
“In fact a recent retail survey showed that 96% of people felt safe shopping in Uttoxeter town centre, which is the highest rating they have found anywhere. People don’t feel vulnerable.
“It’s the safest place to shop in the country.
“The council should encourage more business by telling people what’s great about Uttoxeter.
“The new development at the back of the town hall has just one unit left so things are going well in general in the town centre.”
The council have said they are trying to fill empty units in the town centre by offering business rates relief to small firms, a policy which reduces costs for both existing businesses and start-ups.
Alternative suggestions to fill vacant units include free parking in the town centre.
However, there are no current plans to remove parking charges.
A spokesperson for East Staffordshire Borough Council said: “Current parking charges were adopted and agreed at a Cabinet meeting in January.
“The Council does usually offer free parking in the run up to Christmas and for special events.”