Government launches Future High Streets Forum
The government has launched the Future High Streets Forum to address issues facing the UKs struggling town centres.
Building on the work of the Portas Review, leaders from business, councils, retail and property will work together to find ways of revitalising town centres and tackle problems such as empty shops and a lack of parking. It will also develop new policies to help town centres adapt and change to meet the changing needs of consumers.
The Forum will be co-chaired by Local Growth minister Mark Prisk and Alex Gourlay, chief executive of the health & beauty division Of Alliance Boots. Members include representatives from John Lewis, the British Retail Consortium, the British Property Federation, the British Council of Shopping Centres, the Association of Town & City Management and the Association of Convenience Stores.
Mark Prisk said: "It is clear that our high streets will need to change to prosper. There is already great work being done across the country to revitalise the town centres, but it needs to spread further faster. The Future High Streets Forum will help us do that.
"The Forum will bring business, councils, retailers and property experts to work together and back communities to rejuvenate our high streets."
BRC director general Helen Dickinson, who will be a member of the new Forum, added: "We welcome the continued focus on finding practical solutions to the difficulties that many of our high streets face.
"The BRC has long campaigned for action to secure a successful evolution of our town centres and to make them safe, attractive and viable. We've set out clear steps for improving local trading environments and preserving and protecting local businesses. We very much support the implementation of meaningful measures at national and local level to support towns and cities across England."
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