Barry has emerged as the best-performing town centre in Wales for retaining chain shops.
Research carried out by the Local Data Company and PricewaterhouseCoopers analysed the pattern of openings and closures for large retailers in town centres considered to be among Britain’s top 500 high streets.
In Wales, that included the likes of Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Carmarthen, Abergavenny, Pontypridd, Bridgend and Cwmbran, as well as Barry.
And of that group, Barry’s Holton Road, where there is a 50-50 split between independent and large retailers, was the only place not to show a decline, with one chain opening and another closing during the survey period from January to June this year.
This research indicated that Barry was performing significantly better than other similar towns in South Wales.
“As an Authority, we are committed to creating vibrant town centres across the County,” said Cllr Lis Burnett, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration.
“Significant support has been made available to Holton Road in particular, where we work closely with traders to identify ways in which to promote the area and attract visitors.
“This has resulted in a wide variety of schemes and initiatives being launched in recent years and it is encouraging to see that work bear fruit.”
As part of the Castleland Renewal Project, around £600,000 of Council funds was spent on upgrading the shop fronts of commercial properties on the street, while nearly £1 million went on the extensive refurbishment of residential properties to improve the overall appearance of the area.
There has also been major work carried out to upgrade infrastructure at Holton Road, which involved the road and pavements being resurfaced, kerbs relaid and safer crossing points installed.
Further work to refurbish vacant properties in Holton Road will take place under the Targeted Regeneration Investment scheme, which provides grant funding of nearly £1m to improve town centre buildings, including both internal and external works.
The Council also works with the traders to organise a number of events throughout the year with the aim of attracting visitors, while a number of innovative new business have begun trading on Holton Road in the last year.
These include the Zero Waste Store and a micropub, with new leases also granted to other independent traders who will shortly be opening their doors for trade.