East Lancashire towns leading high street recovery

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A new report on the health of the UK's high streets shows that two East Lancashire towns are among the quickest to return to normal levels of activity.

The Centre for Cities tracker places Burnley second in the country, and Blackburn sixth. The data used compares the last weekend in June with pre-lockdown footfall.

Burnley registered a 60 on the recovery index, behind only Basildon which scored 61. Blackburn scored 56, ahead of nearby cities such as Liverpool and Manchester, which both scored 22, and London, 19.

Laurence O’Connor, chair of Burnley BID, said: "The businesses in our town have proven innovative and resilient during this time and it’s great to see locals supporting the town. We saw when the non-essential shops reopened on the 15th June just how busy the town centre was, with people respecting the social distancing measures in place.

"Now many of our bars, restaurants, pubs and other retail are reopening, we hope the recovery continues and that people feel safe being in a town of Burnley’s size. With the fantastic variety of independent and big-name retail, early evening economy and nightlife, people can stay local when easing back into the post-lockdown ‘new normal’."

The businesses in our town have proven innovative and resilient during this time.

Centre for Cities suggested that the cities struggling with the slowest high street recovery are those with a concentration of offices in the centre. Where workers have not yet returned, the nearby shops, food outlets and bars have struggled.

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