Majority of public want charities to re-use empty shops

Research from the Charities Aid Foundation finds that 70 per cent of people would prefer to see a charity use a shop than to see it left empty

Seven in 10 people prefer to re-use empty shops for charitable or community purposes until permanent stores can open in their place, new research from the Charities Aid Foundation has found.

In a YouGov survey of 1,176 adults commissioned by CAF, 62 per cent of respondents also said that charity shops provided a valuable service on their local high streets.

There are more than 11,000 charity shops across the UK, and CAF said there had been a number of examples of "pop up" businesses and community projects using otherwise empty premises.

The CAF findings come after the the British Retail Consortium revealed that 10 per cent of high-street shops in the UK were empty, rising to one in eight in Scotland, with 78 per cent of people wanting shops to be filled as soon as possible.

CAF also found that 37 per cent of adults above the age of 16 shopped at their local charity shops on a regular basis.

Susan Pinkney, head of research at CAF, said: "It’s amazing to see that more than 20 million British people regularly pop to a charity shop, and clearly there is an appetite to see empty shops used in a way that supports the local community.

"Everyone wants to see our high streets thrive, and charity and community shops can be a great way to offer a valuable service while keeping our town centres bustling with activity."

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