Coffee shops and cafes are booming in Hartlepool

Coffee shops and takeaways are booming in Hartlepool. Picture by PA Archive/PA Images
Coffee shops and takeaways are booming in Hartlepool. Picture by PA Archive/PA Images

More coffee shops and cafes are opening in Hartlepool in recent years, new figures show.

The number of businesses has risen from 20 in 2010 to 25 this year, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data and - along with food takeaways - represent a booming sector in the High Street.

But more businesses on high streets also means more competitors.

The investment bank Citibank said in a report released last year that the number of coffee shops cannot keep growing at the same high pace and forecast that the boom in the sector will not last beyond 2022.

The expansion of these businesses in Hartlepool was slower than the average for the UK.

Nationally, there are 28,900 unlicensed restaurants, nearly double eight years earlier.

While this growth in the sector may be good for the high street, it may be bad for public health due to the increased availability of fast-food.

People in the UK drink 95 million cups of coffee each day, up from 70 million 10 years ago, according to a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

One in 10 are sold in coffee shops, and more than half of those are served by Costa Cafe, Starbucks and Cafe Nero.

Mike Cherry, the Federation of Small Business’s national chairman said: “Crucially, it isn’t just chain stores who are seeing their fortunes rise, but independents are also thriving in this food and drink boom.

“Not only does this help small firms, but also gives shoppers a greater wealth of choice and promotes good healthy competition.”

“The caveat for this success is that all smaller firms, whether they are selling coffee, clothes or carpets are constantly threatened by ever-rising business rates.”

While this growth in the sector may be good for the high street, it may be bad for public health due to the increased availability of fast-food.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has warned about the relationship between childhood obesity and a diet more reliant on fast-food.

Dr Rahul Chodari, a consultant paediatrician, said: “We know that many of these outlets are located near schools.

“We are calling on local authorities to use their planning powers to prevent new fast food shops opening within close proximity to schools, playgrounds and other areas where children spend much of their time.”