HIGH street shops have been closing at a rate of 20 a day across the UK so far this year, a survey had revealed.

But figures from accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and retail analysts The Local Data Company show Yorkshire is one of the best-performing regions for keeping the shops open.

The survey shows that 170 stores have ceased trading across the region so far during 2011 – but that 180 have opened for business, giving a net gain of 10.

Yorkshire is one of seven UK regions to see an increase in the number of store openings – following the South West with a net gain of 48 and the North West and East Midlands, both on 32.

Huddersfield has seen 40 stores shut, according to the survey, with 35 opening – representing a net loss of five. Hull has lost 10 stores while Wakefield is down by seven and York down by two. The top performers were Harrogate with a net gain of 22 and Doncaster with a gain of 20. Others to gain included Leeds and Scarborough (both plus 12).

The survey of 300 UK town and city centres showed that shops selling clothes, shoes, jewellery and books were the worst-hit for closures.

In Yorkshire, hair salons, travel agents and department stores were also particularly affected.

Charity shops, convenience stores and supermarkets bucked the trend to show growth during the first half of the year.

PwC partner Toby Underwood said: “Over the next six months, retailers will undoubtedly continue to struggle.

“Certain categories such as clothes shops are likely to experience high levels of financial distress. The combination of rising inflation, a squeeze on consumer spending and dented consumer confidence leading to people increasingly trying to find the best deal online has made life difficult for store-dependent high street retailers.”