A YOUTUBER, author and property investor has urged people to shop locally to save the decaying high street.

Rick Gannon took a tour around Worcester in a recent Youtube video to highlight the devastation caused to the centre and traders since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

He questioned how businesses were going to come back from this and suggested that most of Worcester will be used for residential homes instead of shops in the future.

However, the body representing city businesses said they were finding new ways to continue.

Mr Gannon showed many empty shop units as he wandered through the city including, Poundstretcher’s, Knowles Sports, Deli Incorporated, The Bedroom Centre, Primo, Pizza Hut, Carphone Warehouse and HMV.

He said this highlighted the ‘devastating’ impact lockdowns were having on city centres ‘not just here but across the country.’

Mr Gannon added: “This is the grim reality. A huge proportion of shops are closed in Worcester. It is an awful time for retailers right now.”

“What does the future hold of retail? I think there will be some great opportunities in the future for the high street. But, that doesn’t take the pain away from those who have suffered the most, who have lost their businesses. One retailer we showcased in Worcester has been running for two generations, and now it’s gone. It’s the sign of the times.

“We all need to support one another and we all need to start shopping locally again. Geoff Bezo’s doesn’t need our money right now, but your local shops absolutely do.”

Speaking previously about the challenges faced by traders in the city, Samantha McCarthy, of Worcester Business Improvement District, said: “Our independent businesses are showing their steely determination to succeed by implementing innovative ways for us to shop, eat and drink. Our High Street needs these businesses - please shop independently to support them through this. If you are Worcestershire based, sign up for the Visit Worcester newsletter for updates on local businesses, their offers and how you can still shop local and support them.”