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BRC calls for action on high streets

The British Retail Consortium [BRC] insists that a bright, post-recession future is possible for UK high streets if key recommendations are followed.

The BRC has published a “21st Century High Streets: A new vision for our town centres” which focuses on what can be done to secure the long-term future of town centre retailing beyond the recession.

The BRC’s study found that 12% of town centre shops are now vacant, three times more than last autumn. The study also shows that many of the UK’s high street have been struggling for years.

Key recommendations centre around central government giving backing to retailers, to ensure there are no new rate or property cost burdens and also parking and town planning issues.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “High streets are the heart of local communities and economies – providing jobs and essential services. They are a crucial part of our national retail mix but many of them are in trouble, facing difficulties that began well before the current recession.”

“Some will flourish again as the economy recovers; others have to shape a different future as customers’ needs change. But that cannot be left to chance. These processes have to be actively managed by local authorities with their retailers, other businesses and residents.”

What would improve your town centre or local high street and how would it help your business? Drapers wants to hear your ideas and initiatives to beat the ghost town phenomenon. Post your comments in the box below or email us at jessica.brown@emap.com

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