Boris Johnson has said he will introduce a package of reforms to help save the high street, if he is elected as leader of the Conservative party and prime minister next month.
Johnson’s policies to support bricks and mortar retailers are as follows:
- Introducing planning reforms that will allow easier “change of use” for properties on the high street.
- Help keep free-to-use cash machines available by ending business rates charges on them in town centres.
- Making immediate use of the £675m Future High Street Fund to support and fund local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future.
Johnson said: “High streets are a vital part of British life, but they are coming under increasing pressure from the rise of online shopping – especially in the more rural areas. We need a bold vision to rejuvenate our high streets, and to make sure that they remain places where people want to go, meet and spend their money.
“When we leave the European Union on 31 October, we can make these bold changes. The high street is the heart of many towns across the country – a place for people to come together and support local business. This is an extremely exciting opportunity to revive our communities, and we should grab it with both hands.”