WREXHAM town centre may be bucking the trend of decline, a report has shown.
The report presented to Wrexham councillors showed footfall has increased in the town by three per cent over the last year.
It also said the town is below the national average for vacant shops.
The report, compiled by a council Task and Finish group as part of an ongoing monitoring process of improvements to the town centre, was discussed by Wrexham Council’s employment, business and investment scrutiny committee on Wednesday night.
Cllr Rodney Skelland, chairman of the committee said: “There has been a lot of hard work going into this and there are positives in the report like the increasing of footfall.”
The report also showed the shop vacancy rate is 11.7 per cent – a rise of 1.7 per cent on last year’s figure – but is below the national vacancy rate of 18 per cent.
“We are lucky in Wrexham that we are below the average nationally,” said Cllr Skelland.
“But we need to keep this in the spotlight for a long time to come. There are issues with shop closures and other town centres across the country are struggling.”
The report also showed car park usage has decreased in Wrexham, but that traders were optimistic about business for next year.
It said: “Business user surveys show that businesses have, for the most part, remained at the same level of trading and remain confident about 2014 trading conditions.”
Shopper surveys also show that the majority of shoppers do most of their shopping in Wrexham, travelling to other towns nearby for ‘days out’ rather than regular shopping.
The ‘hello world’ and ‘Wrexham says hello’ website, which aims to promote the town as a shopping destination, is still in development. It goes live in stages in a few weeks.
Taxi drivers and bus companies are now being given updates on developments and events, helping them provide passengers with useful leisure-related information.
The committee agreed to keep monitoring the progress of improvements to the town centre.