Business is booming in Maldon after the town recorded a sharp fall in the number of empty shops in one year.

Bob Boyce, leader of Maldon District Council, said in his budget statement that there are 21 per cent less empty stores - the equivalent to one shop in every five - compared to April last year.

It means the total rateable value on which business rates are collected to increase by more than £800,000.

The Local Data Company, which monitors the retail sector, saod 8.8 per cent of Maldon’s shops are empty, far less than the national average of 13.6 per cent or East of England figure of 11.1 per cent.

Traders in Maldon said the busy High Street was due to the prevalence of small independent boutiques and the lack of dominance from the national chains.

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