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Welsh retail manifesto sets out plan for growth and jobs

Politicians vying to form the next Welsh Government are being urged to limit regulation for retailers.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Welsh retail manifesto sets out plan for growth and jobs

They are also urged to offer practical support to town centres as part of a plan which will enable the retail sector to make the best possible contribution to the future economic success of Wales.

The Manifesto for Welsh Retail 2011 being launched today (Friday) by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) sets out a framework which will help the retail sector to grow, attract investment and create jobs, to the benefit of the country.

Retail generates 10% of the Gross Domestic Product of Wales, compared with 7% for the UK as a whole, and employs nearly 140,000 people. Retail is the largest private sector employer and one of few sectors to have increased its workforce in the past few years, although a recent slowdown in sales shows the sector may still have difficult times ahead.

The BRC is setting out a range of priorities for the next Assembly Government which include:-
- champion the importance of the Welsh retail sector in creating employment opportunities
- avoid increases in the overall burden of regulation
- deliver a simple and consistently applied planning regime, with a presumption in favour of sustainable development
- provide a range of affordable travel options to town centres
- work with the sector to support locally sourced Welsh products for the Welsh market and beyond

Director General of the British Retail Consortium, Stephen Robertson, said: "The numbers speak for themselves. Retail is the engine room of recovery and matters even more to the Welsh economy than to the UK as a whole. Given the right support, the retail sector will help Wales towards a secure and sustainable future.

"Retail is not a sector that looks for subsidies. It is naturally entrepreneurial. Even in these challenging times it is creating jobs and investing in growth. We simply ask that the next Welsh Government works with us to provide the best conditions for success.

"We are now in a crucial period where policy-makers can do a lot to help or hinder the private sector's ability to lead the recovery. By removing unnecessary obstacles and providing a business-friendly environment the new Welsh Assembly will help the retail sector to continue creating jobs and boosting regeneration, while competition within the sector keeps prices down for consumers."

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