The closure of betting shops could play a key role in revitalising the high street.

In light of William Hill’s plans to close 700 betting stores, data from HARNESS Property Intelligence suggests that the closure of betting shops could play a key role in revitalising the high street.

The data from HARNESS, which examined approximately 4,000 betting shops in England and Wales between 2010 and 2017, found that just 132 of these were closed and re-opened under a new use class. Over a third (47) and the majority of these were re-opened as shops, suggesting that the significant closure of 700 from William Hill could pave the way for retailers to begin occupying the high street again. Other major betting providers are expected to follow, creating further opportunities for new retailers to move in.

Ben Mein, CEO, HARNESS Property Intelligence, commented: “William Hill’s announcement represents a significant change in the overall presence of high street betting providers. Plans to enable increased high street diversity have been on the agenda for what feels like years now but it’s the introduction of the new gambling laws which look set to have the most profound impact in this sense. It will be interesting to see how the situation plays out in terms of replacing those stores but our data suggests that retailers, cafes and restaurants look set to receive the biggest boost. Some may also argue that the case for extending permitted development rights to incorporate other commercial uses has been given a new lease of life.”

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