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Eastbourne takes first place as town with most charity shops in UK

Melanie May | 5 October 2023 | News

Eastbourne pier by diego_torres on pixabay

Data on the postcodes and regions in the UK with the most charity shops puts Eastbourne at the top with 35 in the postcode area of BN21, and Belfast by region with 385 in the BT postcode region. used its business search function to uncover the specific postcodes and regions with the most charity shops, as well as which region has the most charity shops per head of population. To do this, it looked at any business premise registered as a ‘Charity Shop’ and broke that information down by postcode region.

Eastbourne’s close neighbours Hove (BN3), came second with 33 charity shops, and Brighton (BN1) fourth with 27.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

The majority of charity shops in the BN21 postcode area are located along Terminus Road, which has 11 charity shops. Grove Road, just around the corner has a further five charity shops. In Hove, the charity shops are concentrated on the half kilometre long Blatchington Road. There are five along this street’s length.

Regionally, the top regions were spread across the country with four in the southeast, four in the
Midlands, two in the northwest and one each in the southwest and Yorkshire.

Looking at the wider regions with the most charity shops,’s data shows that the wider
Brighton area is the fourth most popular place for charity shops with the Belfast region at the top, followed by Portsmouth (PO) with 301.

Wales had the fewest people per charity shop with Llandrindod Wells and the wider LD postcode area in Powys having one for every 130 people. This was followed by Harrogate, which had a shop for every 359 locals.

According to the Charity Retail Association (CRA), 3.26% of all retail units are charity shops, and they saw a 15.1% growth in like-for-like store income in the period from January to March 2023.

CRA’s Robin Osterley commented:

“We know that a lot of people now prioritise sustainability when buying clothes, and charity shops are best placed to champion sustainable fashion and reuse by offering cost-effective and accessible shopping options on people’s doorsteps.”

Its figures also show that charity shops provide their parent charities with £363mn a year, and employ 26,000 people in full time positions, as well as thousands of volunteers.

Nick Smith, Retail Director at Age UK, said:

“Charity shops are far more than shops today – they are the high street champions, integral parts of communities, expert recyclers and champions of sustainability.


“As well as spending less, we know that there are other reasons why people choose to shop at
charity shops, including finding unique items they might not be able to get elsewhere and the fact
that we are all more aware of the greater need to do our bit for the environment.


“Age UK has a network of over 250 shops across the England and Wales, which are supported by a
team of dedicated staff and volunteers, and generate much-needed funds for the Charity’s work.
“As well as supporting the sustainability movement, shopping in Age UK’s charity shops also means
you’re supporting older people across the country. Funds raised go towards the Charity’s vital
services, including Age UK’s national Advice Line and its Telephone Friendship Services.”