FIGURES released by a local data collection company have revealed that Barry is one of the top five locations in Britain for independent shops.

The Local Data Company survey found more than 91 per cent of shops in the town’s western area were independently run.

Barry’s High Street is heavily populated by independent traders and overall Barry West has the fourth highest proportion of independent shops in the UK.

Sparkhill in Birmingham with 95 per cent, London’s Portobello Road with 94.7 per cent, and and Goodmayes in Ilford, with 94.1 per cent, boast a greater concentration.

The Vale of Glamorgan will help fund a programme of Christmas events around High Street and have held regular meetings with traders to help coordinate activities.

These include a Victorian-costumed festive Lights switch on event on Friday, November 25 and a Christmas market on Saturday, December 10.

Work has also already begun on a £700,000 scheme to provide more parking spaces and improve pedestrian safety on High Street, with a total of 36 new car parking spaces being created.

New road crossings will also be built for pedestrians that the council said would be safer and more convenient for those with disabilities.

Vale council cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, Cllr Lis Burnett said: “High Street has so much to offer, with a diverse blend of independently-owned shops to choose from. With the festive season approaching, it is the perfect place for Christmas shopping.

“The area is part of a strong independent Vale shopping scene, with Cowbridge and Penarth other places with a rich selection of these kinds of shops.

“The broad range of independent retail outlets around High Street provide a unique, personal touch, something consumers are increasingly searching for these days.

“Independent shops, bars and cafes are opening at their fastest rate in years and we believe the fact High Street has one of the highest proportions of these types of outlets in the country is something to celebrate.”