High street vacancy rates remained “stubbornly high” at 14.1% in the first half of 2013, according to the Local Data Company.

However, the figure has fallen from 14.2% at the last reading in February.

Local Data Company director Matthew Hopkinson said: “This report clearly shows that whilst the rise of empty shops has stalled it still remains stubbornly high for many towns up and down the country”

“Since August 2010 the national average has been above 14%, with a significant number being ‘long-term sick’ with little or no prospect of reoccupation as shops.”

In England, which has a 14% vacancy rate, there was a clear divide between north and south.

London was the best performing region with just 9.4% of shops empty, while the Northwest had the highest vacancy rate of 20.1%.

Wales had the highest national vacancy rate, at an average of 17.5%, while 14.9% of Scottish shops are empty.