To assess how a town is changing over time it’s necessary to measure it first. Otley Town Council and Otley Business Improvement District (BID) commissioned People & Places to undertake a Town Benchmarking study between August and October 2020, measuring such metrics as car parking spaces, visitor numbers, footfall, current and empty shops and a whole host of other criteria.
As a year has gone by, and a pretty troubled one at that, one might think that the town centre might now be a post-Covid smouldering ruin. On the contrary, it’s been a fairly normal year as far as comings and goings are concerned.
Usually around 30 or so town centre businesses change hands, close, open or relocate each year and the last 12 months hasn’t been much different to any other year.
Some 10 shops and business premises that were empty last September are now let and 2 more new businesses have opened up in new premises. Sadly 6 that were occupied in September last year are now vacant. Another 6 have changed from one occupier to another during the year and 4 business premises are now used for something else. The upshot is that Otley has 6 more businesses trading than last September with the prospect of another 4 in the pipeline.
A ‘V’ shaped recovery indeed…
We will shortly be conducting the 2021 Survey which will give us a good indication as to how Otley has recovered from the recent Pandemic. More information to follow.
In the meantime, to read the 2020 Town Benchmarking Survey please visit https://otleybid.co.uk/benchmarking-survey/