BRIGHTON and Hove has been named the second-best area for independent shopping in the United Kingdom.

The city boasts 24 independent retailers per 100,000 people and came second only to Cambridge in a recent study by Indie Retail.

It was also revealed that the area has seen a huge spike in its population searching for book shops, with an increase of 233 per cent in Google searches on the subject between 2018 and 2021.

The Argus: North Laine is a popular spot for independent shopsNorth Laine is a popular spot for independent shops

The study comes as part of South Western Railway’s drive to increase travel to areas with a high number of retailers that need support in the wake of the pandemic.

Calli Ward, head of marketing at South Western Railway, said: “Nothing beats getting to know a city through the businesses and people that make it what it is.

“Being able to give back by supporting small, independent retailers is so important, no matter where you are in the UK.

The Argus: A map demonstrating the top independent shopping areasA map demonstrating the top independent shopping areas

“Whether you are visiting a new place, or discovering local gems, there are plenty across the UK offering bespoke, independent shopping experiences who would no doubt appreciate your custom.”

It comes as national online searches for independent record shops saw an increase of 267 per cent from 2018 to 2022.