Scottish towns are leading the way in UK high street spending recovery 

Kirkwall has seen the highest high street year-on-year growth in spending

SCOTTISH spending power is fuelling strong high street growth, while other UK towns and cities lag behind, according to new data on high street spending.

The insights, from takepayments’ bi-annual research into high street spending reveal how high streets across the country are continuing to navigate their Covid recovery. Interestingly, the top three places showing the strongest year-on-year growth are Kirkwall (22%), Inverness (10%) and Paisley (7%), a sure sign of confidence for those north of the border.

Across the board it is the smaller UK outliers which are outpacing the rest of the UK in terms of growth in high street spending. According to takepayments’ research, the top 10 locations where high street spending has seen the highest year-on-year growth are:

1. Kirkwall – 22%

2. Inverness – 10%

3. Paisley – 7%

4. Guernsey – 7%

5. Taunton – 6%

6. London W – 6%

7. London E – 6%

8. Portsmouth – 6%

9. Exeter – 5%

10. Durham – 5%

The research also indicates the travel industry is leading the way when it comes to increased consumer spending, where spending is up by 37% year-on-year. Combined with VisitBritain’s predictions that inbound tourism spending is expected to increase by 59% to £6.9bn in 20221, these figures will be another welcome sign of growth for UK tourism.

While spending on recruitment has fallen 30% year-on-year, this industry is now showing slow but steady signs of growth, having increased by 2% in the past six months. Hospitality challenges continue, however, where consumer spending has fallen 10% year-on-year then failed to show any sign of growth over the past six months.

Sandra Rowley, Head of Marketing, shared what these latest findings could mean for the UK high street: “Consumer spending is firmly in the spotlight at the moment amid the current cost of living crisis. Naturally, spending is down year-on-year as millions are cutting back to save money where they can. It comes as no surprise in that case that our report found overall spending is down 1% year-on-year and 3% over the past six months.”

“While things are back to some sense of normality, the after-effects of lockdowns and restrictions are likely to be felt for a long time to come Workers continue to reduce the amount of time spent in offices, for example, which means less footfall through busy city centres. This goes some way towards explaining why smaller towns and cities are outpacing the giants when it comes to spending power.”

“There are certainly some promising green shoots of recovery, with travel being the most prominent. We’ll be watching these trends closely over the coming months as businesses and consumers continue to navigate this challenging period.”

To view takepayments’ full Highstreet Spending Report, along with past reports, visit:

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