The phrase 'death of the high street' is bandied about quite a bit these days - and in some places, not without cause.

All throughout the UK, but primarily in old industrial areas such as the north of England, Wales, Scotland, and the midlands, high streets have collapsed under the weight of competition from online retailers and out-of-town supermarkets.

Add to that the pressures exerted on small businesses by crippling business rates, and possibly fees for a business improvement district on top of that, it's no surprise that many town centres have become the exclusive residence of charity shops, barbers and fast food.

It's very, very easy to simply log on to a computer, order what you want and the next day (sometimes even the same day) the package will arrive at your home or workplace. No hassle, no fuss, and often more niche items, which any regular retailer wouldn't stock because of profitability margins, are only available online.

However, there are just a few special places that are bucking this trend - and Kendal is one of them.

It hasn't been plain sailing, and no one would suggest otherwise, with news this week that Maya Maya and Pandora are set to close.

They will join a raft of closures over the last year, including Monsoon, Peter George Bank and KFC.

Furthermore, the heavily publicised problems at Beales continue to rumble on.

But Kendal is not like most towns. Set against the backdrop of the Lakes, there is always a steady stream of tourism in the town, and it certainly helps that the residents here tend to be wealthier than other Cumbrian towns like Barrow or Workington.

Statistics provided by South Lakeland District Council show that, between December 2014 and 2019, the number of empty shops increased by three. That is a lot better than most towns.

All in all, Kendal has a lot of vibrancy in its retailers - there may not be huge brands or gargantuan shopping centres, but smaller, completely unique businesses like The 1657 Chocolate House or Microdot Boutique have something which Primark or Debenhams could never have - a sense of place and a belonging within the community.