In May, retail expert Mary Portas was commissioned to produce a report by David Cameron on the furure of our high streets. The review, which has just been published, gives a good overview of what has happened in recent years within the retail sector and how it has impacted the high streets of the UK. Her vision, she says is ‘to breathe economic and community life back into our high streets’.
Portas sets out 28 recommendations for the Government including setting up ‘Town Teams’ for strategy, vision and planning on our high streets, looking at business rates and seeing they could help small businessses and independent retailers better, improving car parking rates, encouraging large retailers to support and mentor smaller ones, further exploring vacant units and ideas on how to make better use of and encouraging the community to get more involved in planning etc.
She says ‘The new High Streets won’t just be about selling goods. The mix will include shops but could also include housing, offices, sport, schools or other social, commercial and cultural enterprises and meeting places. They should become places where we go to engage with other people in our communities, where shopping is just one small part of a rich mix of activities.’
To read the report in full click here