Norwich in top ten for shopping destinations

Kim BriscoeNorwich has edged out larger cities like Cardiff, Edinburgh and Bristol to secure itself a spot in the top 10 of an annual survey of the UK's retail destinations.Kim Briscoe

Norwich has edged out larger cities like Cardiff, Edinburgh and Bristol to secure itself a spot in the top 10 of an annual survey of the UK's retail destinations.

The news has been welcomed as a positive boost at a time when high streets across the country are still struggling to get back on track following the recession's downturn in spending.

The retail footprint 2010 study by CACI ranks retail centres by forecast expenditure and it shows that while London's West End remains the Britain's number one shopping destination by a long way, with expenditure of �3,170m, Norwich weighs in at number 10 with �1,180m. It is also 25 places ahead of nearby Ipswich.

Peter Mitchell, who is chairman of the Norwich City Centre Partnership and also managing director of Jarrold's, said: 'This most recent study reminds us just what an impressive retail centre Norwich is in 2010.

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'Even with the recent arrival of London's huge Westfield centre, Norwich retains its place in the UK's top 10.

'This study, from CACI, assesses just the size of the different retail destinations, but other studies that make more subjective assessments about the quality of shopping on offer often put Norwich even higher in the national ranking.

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'Alongside the big destinations of Chapelfield and The Mall, Norwich also offers an outstanding independent retail sector, the individuality of the Lanes, and our bustling city centre market.

'Norwich has largely avoided the rising empty-shop problems that have afflicted many city centres, including some of the major destinations like Birmingham, and that's in part because Norwich and Norfolk continue to attract regular shoppers from across the East of England and tourist visitors from across the UK.

'It's also because the city has always understood the value of having a busy, safe and accessible city centre. 'Investment over many years in Park and Ride, and sensible planning policies have all helped to boost the vitality of the city and this is as important today as it has ever been.'

In 2009, Norwich missed out on the top 10 and was ranked at 11th, however changes to the methodology of how the rankings are worked out mean that it is difficult to compare 2009's rankings with 2010.

Other Eastern cities which feature in the top 50 for 2010 include Ipswich, ranked 35th, and Cambridge, 39th.

In January, Norwich was recognised as a top 10 retail destination as part of the annual Venuescore rankings because of its quality and diversity of shops.

In May, the city was shortlisted for an award the best shopping venue for groups category in the Group Travel Awards. The winner is due to be announced on Friday, June 11.

Retail Centre Expenditure

1. London - West End �3,170m

2. Glasgow �2,550m

3. Birmingham �2,430m

4. Manchester �2,320m

5. Liverpool �1,960m

6. Nottingham �1,810m

7. Leeds �1,520m

8. Westfield London �1,370m

9. Newcastle Upon Tyne �1,230m

10. Norwich �1,180m

11. Bluewater �1,140m

12. Meadowhall �1,050m

13. Bristol �1,050m

14. Leicester �1,040m

15. Edinburgh �1,040m

16. Cardiff �1,030m

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