The number of high street shops closing down has fallen to its lowest level in seven years, according to The Local Data Company.

The PwC commissioned research, which looked at the top 500 town centres in Britain, found that 2,564 outlets closed in the first half of 2017, equivalent to 14 a day.

Over the same period, there was 2,342 store openings, resulting in a net loss of 222 high street shops - the lowest number since 2010.

Some sectors also recorded a growth in store numbers, with tobacconists, coffee shops and ice-cream parlours all experiencing increases.

Mike Jervis, a retail specialist at PwC said: “The environment is, of course, uncertain, with recent data showing a more challenging retail environment. I expect net store closures to be an ongoing feature of the market.

“Retailers will choose specific closure stores very carefully and will aim to capitalise on leases expiring in the ordinary course of their businesses.”

Two out of 11 British regions experienced a net gain in high street shop numbers, with Yorkshire and the Humber adding 12 shops, and the East Midlands increasing store numbers by eight.