openLocal.uk (previously Sqwyre.com) is a longitudinal data series of commercial location data for England and Wales, updated continuously and quarterly since 2016. Whythawk developed the software platform and methodology, and secured the release of these commercial data, including via more than 2,500 Freedom of Information requests ,and curated almost 20 million records on individual commercial locations. Data are wrangled into a common schema from numerous atomised sources, including the Valuations Office Agency (VOA), commercial ratepayer data – occupation status, ratepayer name, and actual rates paid – from most local authorities, including London boroughs, and enriched with national statistics data on employment.
In July 2021, Whythawk received a grant from the London Mayor's Resilience Fund to redevelop our data explorer to support London's post-COVID economic recovery. In March 2022, this went live as the new openLocal.uk.
This is also the second year in which our data have supported analysis at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. DLUHC used aggregate data as part of analysis informing their Levelling Up Fund: Prioritisation of places methodology note.
"The methodology was developed to help the Fund deliver its core objective of improving local communities by investing in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people."
The data below are the referenced aggregate totals, medians and distributions for industrial, retail, leisure, and office commercial locations between October 2019 and July 2021 aggregated for each local authority in England and Wales. They are released under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).
Chait, Gavin (2022): openLocal.uk commercial location data aggregations for England and Wales as of July 2021. Whythawk, DLUHC. https://whythawk.com/index.php/research-reports/25-openlocal-uk-sqwyre-com-commercial-location-data-aggregations-for-england-and-wales-as-of-july-2021