Post Offices, independent retailers, restaurants and banks have topped a list of the high street’s most most desirable shops and services, a new report by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has revealed.

The ACS Community Barometer reveals how retailers, consumers and councillors really feel about the DNA of their local areas, and which type of outlets they would like to see more, and less of.

Takeaways, betting shops and pawnbrokers emerged as the least loved shops and services by all survey groups.

The report also highlighted clear differences between the North and the South, with demand for convenience stores, coffee shops and banks higher in the North where shop vacancy rates average just over 17%.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Our research suggests that people in the North, faced with these higher vacancy rates, are crying out for more vital services, while in the South, people want to avoid the wrong type of outlets on the high street. Throughout the country, retailers, councillors and consumers agree that a diverse mix of business types is what is needed to create a sustainable local retail offer.”

Consumers, retailers and councillors also believe that action is needed to reduce the burden of business rates on local shops, while 25% of the general public and 43% of councillors said that town centre first planning policy urgently needed strengthening, the report also revealed.

“Businesses’ concerns about the future of high streets are shared by their customers,” Lowman added. “Government has made significant progress through the Portas Review and he Future High Streets Forum, but there is more to be done,” he added.