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Plaid Cymru plans for urgently-needed high street support

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth has warned that figures that reveal that high street footfall has fallen in Wales show that the economic recovery isn’t reaching every part of Wales.

Figures published by the Welsh Retail Consortium this week show that in April, high street footfall numbers in Wales were 3.6% lower than a year ago.

The town centre vacancy rate in Wales stands at higher than the UK average at 12.7%.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“High streets are a good indicator of how Wales’ economy is faring, and the figures paint a picture of an economy in a vulnerable state. The small businesses that are located on our high streets are crucial to our economy.

“Footfall on the Welsh high street has been lower than the same month in the previous year for fifteen consecutive months, but we’ve failed to see any serious response to this by the Labour Government.

“Plaid Cymru has pledged solid support for businesses. By lowering business rates for 83,000 businesses, helping local companies access public sector contracts and by diversifying high streets by bringing se rvices such as GP practices there we can increase footfall and help businesses.

“The figures suggest that people lack the confidence to spend money in shops and on services, and this points at the wider problem of an economic recovery that is failing to reach every corner of society. Plaid Cymru wants to strengthen our economy by supporting people and ensuring that everyone benefits.”