…is there any way that I can get the same spacing without using loads of <br> tags?
That’s what CSS is for! You should never have to add html mark-up in order to force a display (although the very occasional <div> is forgivable). HTML is for marking up content and not for display. Display is controlled entirely with CSS. So if you need extra space, you’ll apply it with CSS.
<center> is also bad mark-up. If you wish to centre an area, then you apply this via CSS and not HTML.
Do not use <center> tags. Do not use <br> tags.