Research from the Local Data Company shows the number of coffee shops in the UK are growing faster than ever before - with the rate of increase doubling over the last two years from 3% to nearly 7%.

The report also revealed independent coffee shops have a increased their market share by 1% to 70%.

The total number of independent coffee shops stands at 9,441 in the 705 researched centres, in comparison to just over 2,000 chain outlets.

In major cities there has been a marked increase in the number of shops; a case study of Cross Street in Manchester revealed a doubling of the number of coffee shops over the last six years. This is in stark comparison with a drop in ‘comparison goods’ such as fashion and shoe shops.

The report said, even taking into account the increase in empty retail space, the coffee shop has proved its popularity through these revealing figures.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: “However much people may claim to hate coffee shops, they still prove to be liquid gold as far as landlords are concerned."

She added: "It’s great that, even in the current climate, smaller firms can hold their own against the multinationals.”

However, the report pointed out that the coffee shop sector has seen some casualties including German operator Tchibo which is exiting the UK market and BB’s Coffee & Muffin chain which went into administration and was part bought out this month.