The ‘decline of the High Street’ as we know it has long been a hot topic of conversation, aided by self-titled ‘Queen
of shops’, Mary Portas’s PR train and more recently Bill Grimsey’s report. Both offer contrasting suggestions of what is needed to regenerate towns up and down the country to build the High Streets of our future in an increasingly digitally driven society.
So, just how will our government, local authorities and communities tackle town centre evolution in the next ten years?
Portas, a retail and brand communication expert was commissioned by the government to produce a review of the High Street. In December 2011, The Portas Review was delivered with 28 recommendations. 27 ‘Portas Pilots’ towns across the country were selected by the government and given grants to enable shopkeepers, councils and businesses to try out new ideas of regeneration.
former chief executive of Iceland and DIY retailer Wickes joined forces with eight associates to produce a self-funded review of the High Street. The review is in–depth and evidence based with 31 recommendations designed to breath economic life into town centres. It recognises digital prominence and focuses on creating community hubs by bringing a range of attractions and amenities to central areas, including healthcare, entertainment & housing, not just enhancing retail environments. The report also asks for the planning and business rates system to be reworked.
With more than 11% of shops in Britain or 40,000 units currently standing empty, it is clear that the High Street has changed. Consumer needs & expectations have evolved, so it’s time we prepare, for a ‘bold new world’ and find the best ways to manage the inevitable transition in a way that meets consumer, community and retailer demands both now and in the future.
How has your High Street changed? How would you improve your town? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @DeriazSlater #HighStreet« Back to News & Blog