THE mayor of Cardigan has expressed her outrage after the town placed fourth in a list of the ‘ten worst shopping destinations’ in Britain.

Cardigan is among six in Wales deemed to be among the least ‘healthy’ retail districts in England, Scotland and Wales by retail real estate consultancy Harper Dennis Hobbs.

Haverfordwest is rated eighth, with Girvan - a seaside town in south-west Scotland – said to be Britain’s worst shopping destination.

Published every two years, the so-called ‘vitality index’ is based on shop vacancy rates; the proportion of upmarket shops in each area; the proportion of value-led shops; and the proportion of ‘low-quality’ outlets.

Higher scores are awarded to areas whose stores are specially adapted to the local community.

Cardigan mayor Cllr Debra Griffiths could barely contain her fury.

“I'm lost for words and that doesn't happen often,” she told the Tivy-Side. “I'm shocked to read that Cardigan is in the top 10 worst high street places in Britain.

“I just can't seem to absorb it, to be honest.

“Personally I don't think that we should read too much into this.

“As someone who is proud to be from Cardigan, I don't feel as if this online survey reflects the opinions of the people of Cardigan and the people who visit the town.

“The town has much to offer, from independent businesses thriving on the high street to historic attractions and beautiful nearby beaches.

“I believe Cardigan is going from strength to strength.

“There's something here for everybody.”

Her views were echoed by Cardigan businessman and entrepreneur David Hieatt.

“Just curious about the authors of ‘Britain’s worst high street’,” he tweeted. “Have they actually been to Cardigan?”