Boost for city as Norwich named in top 10 for best UK shopping venues

Norwich has been rated the ninth best shopping destination in the UK, and is predicted to rise to eighth over the next five years.

The city is the only east of England venue in the top 10 in the latest Venuescore 2011-12 survey from Javelin Group.

Norwich was described as a unique city destination with thriving award-winning independent businesses, Unesco city of literature status and an exciting cultural 2013 ahead.

It comes after Norwich was placed sixth in volume of tourism day visits in England in 2011, after London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool.

Norwich was previously ranked ninth as a UK shopping destination in the Experian Goad retail index and 8th on the CACI index.

The survey also highlights Norwich's good mix of malls –Chapelfield and Castle Mall – and high street, with retail playing a strong role in the city centre.

Nick Bond, head of tourism at VisitNorwich, said: 'Venuescore research confirms what we already know, the shopping experience in Norwich is amongst the very best and that's even more the case by virtue of what research can't put a value against; where else is the quality of the shopping set amongst such extraordinarily handsome surroundings and so comfortable a place to buy and browse?'

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The survey also says Norwich 'punches above its weight' culturally and was given Unesco city of literature status this year – the first city in England to achieve it.

The city is also due to get �3m in investment over the next five years from the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID), which was launched on November 1.

Stefan Gurney, pictured left, Norwich BID director, said: 'Norwich continues to deliver a completely unique shopping offer that is reflected in our Venuescore Top 10 UK retail ranking.

'Our vibrant city centre has retail at its heart, from the boutique independent of Norwich Lanes and Timberhill to the two shopping centres to the major department stores; Norwich is as far from a generic high street as you can find in a city.

'Once people visit the city and see our diverse retail, cultural and heritage offer, they come back time and again.'

Have you got a good-news Norwich story? Email reporter David Bale at