Falkirk losing out on retail prosperity

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Falkirk’s tumble down the league table of retail prosperity makes grim reading.

Yet while this district has faced the brunt of shop closures and job losses other towns and cities have fared better.

Around two thirds of Scotland’s local authorities have enjoyed a growth in retail turnover in the period from 2008-2015 covered by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) analysis.

According to Ewan MacDonald-Russell, SRC head of policy, this demonstrates how the retail change is affecting everyone, but in different ways.

He said: “For some communities this is leading to new opportunities; with investment in new jobs, more productive and interesting work and different business models.

“However, we should not be blind to the serious repercussions these changes can have for local communities. We are seeing shop closures and job losses which will reduce retail involvement in some town centres.”

Looking more closely at Falkirk, he said it was partly affected by being a small local authority – the town itself is a major component and any changes in its High Street area is going to be magnified to a greater degree than those areas with multiple towns.

He added: “The Scottish retail industry is going through a period of profound change. The window to positively shape retail reinvention is closing. Now is the time for action to be taken.”