Harrow is the fourth best place to open a shop in the UK, finds BNP Paribas study

If you own a shop in Harrow you are in luck, because the borough is apparently one of the safest places to open a shop in the UK.

The new report was compiled by BNP Paribas surveyed 100 towns in England. It provides a guide to which towns are vulnerable to retail collapse and those best placed to survive in a weakened economy.

The poll, which placed Harrow fourth, comes just two months after Harrow was branded one of the “worst places to live” in a study by RightMove.

Shopkeepers across the borough were generally pleased with the results, though opinion was divided.

Susan Hall, who owns Enhance Hairdressing Salon, Headstone Drive, said it was likely due to the excellent policing in the borough.

She said: “In all my 35 years of owning the salon, I’ve never had a problem. The police do a fabulous job and I am very grateful to them.

“Long may they continue to protect independent businesses around Harrow, like mine.”

Yiannis Christofis, who owns Barracuda Fish & Chip Shop in Headstone Parade agreed, saying the study was “refreshing.”

He said: “We do have a very nice community feel in most parts of Harrow, and we have a great neighbourhood watch scheme.

“It’s always nice to hear about something positive like this in Harrow. Knowing we are one of the best is great.”

But not everyone agreed with the study’s results. Ash Thakrar, who owns Lavish Looks in North Harrow, accused the area of being a “ghost town” and said: "The footfall in North Harrow is totally different to the amount of people that visit Rayners Lane or Central Harrow for instance. I agree that Harrow Town Centre might be a great place to open up a shop, but what about the other parts of Harrow?”

Councillor Keith Ferry, portfolio holder for planning and economic development, said that supporting the town centre and local businesses is a top priority for the council.

He added: “They are the heart of our community and we want to help them thrive.”

The study also saw Lewisham come out as the best place to open a shop, Uxbridge came a close second and Wood Green was third.

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