Vinyl sales grew to their highest level in more than three decades in 2021 as consumers returned to the old school format during the coronavirus pandemic.

More than five million vinyl albums were bought in the UK over the past 12 months, up eight per cent on sales in 2020, according to figures from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

This marks the 14th consecutive year of growth for vinyl records since 2007.

Nick Banks, who has been running Market Hall Records in The Shambles for almost 20 years, said he's noticed the industry boom in Worcester, and insisted rock classics remain the favourites among his new wave of customers.

He said: "I've definitely seen a similar trend in Worcester, sales have been going up for the last three or four years now to be honest.

"But of course it is slightly different for me because HMV has gone and so has Rise, so really there isn't many places to go and buy records in Worcester, so I have noticed a big difference.

"Customers are buying all sorts of stuff, new and old.

"A lot of the kids are buying heavy rock like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Led Zeppelin - that sort of thing.

"They buy a lot of your classic 70s stuff as well like Jimi Hendrix and Jethro Tull.

"The new stuff sells, but the young kids seem to be in to their 60s and 70s stuff.

"They reckon it's every seven years a new generation turns up, but they all seem to buy the same stuff - what I would call classic rock music."

Campaigns such as National Album Day, Record Store Day, The Record Club and Tim's Twitter Listening Parties helped rally sales for independent record shops and specialist chains.

The end-of-year figures, released by industry body the BPI using Official Charts Company data, indicate vinyl albums now account for nearly a quarter of all albums purchased (23 per cent).

The BPI expects to announce classic albums 'Rumours' by Fleetwood Mac and 'Back To Black' by Amy Winehouse, reissued to coincide with National Album Day to mark its 15th anniversary, as among the year's best-selling vinyl albums.

Similarly, major 2021 releases including Abba's 'Voyage', Adele's '30', Sam Fender's 'Seventeen Going Under', Ed Sheeran's '=' and Wolf Alice's 'Blue Weekend' were projected to be among the year's best sellers.

The report also forecasts that some 190,000 cassettes have been purchased in the past 12 months, up a fifth on 2020 and the highest number since 2003 when 243,000 tapes were sold and Now 54 was the biggest seller on the format.

This would mark the ninth year of consecutive growth for cassettes, which are now available on many major label album releases.

Olivia Rodrigo's album 'Sour' is predicted as the best selling cassette album of this year, alongside Dave's 'We're All Alone In This Together' and Queen 'Greatest Hits'.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, Brit Awards & Mercury Prize, said: "It's a great time to be a music fan, with wider choice on offer than ever before supported by great value.

"Thanks to record label investment into new music and talent, fans can purchase and collect the music they most love on vinyl, CD and even cassette, whilst also enjoying access to over 70 million songs to stream instantly whenever and how often they want, in turn enabling a new generation of artists to create music and sustain successful careers in a global market."

The BPI will report its final music consumption figures on January 4 2022.