WORCESTER has lost a net total of four city centre shops since the start of the year, as high streets across the country continue to suffer, new data has revealed.

In January there was a total of 259 shops in the city centre, which by July had dropped to 255, with 10 stores closing and six opening, according to the Local Data Company.

West Midlands high streets are some of the most impacted by shop closures across Britain, with the region seeing -2.2 per cent of closures in the first six months of they year, while the national average is 1.83 per cent.

Games shops, men’s clothes, take away shops and charity shops are amongst the hardest hit in the region, while store openings across the UK have fallen to a five year low.

Sarah Phillips, Midlands retail and consumer specialist for professional services network PwC, said:

"We are seeing retailers operating in an increasingly challenging environment and this is particularly exasperated in city centre locations where there is a high density of retailers.

"However, the rate of closures in the region’s cities is surprising at a time we are seeing significant investment and regeneration taking place across the region."

Last month, the Worcester News reported how part of the city could be transformed after it was shortlisted for a share of £1 billion government funding.

A bid for regenerating the northern part of Worcester city centre was given £150,000 to develop detailed project proposal - and has made it through to the next stage of the Future High Streets Fund.

Worcester BID and the city council are part of the joint bid which has says The Cross up to Foregate Street Railway Station, including Broad Street, Angel Place, Trinity Passage and Queen Street, would be rejuvenated.

The area currently has a high proportion of empty shops, a poor quality street environment and is a known area for anti-social behaviour.