Senior retailers are to sit on an industry taskforce conducting a widespread review of UK towns and cities to establish ways of rejuvenating the high street.
The taskforce, which comprises senior figures across banking, retail and property, has been set up following the government’s response to the recommendations from Mary Portas’ review, which was published in March.
Through research the group will establish property-related barriers affecting town centres. It will aim to provide clear options on issues, which will allow both central and local governments to make informed decisions.
The taskforce includes trade associations such as British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC).
Mark Prisk MP, minister for town centres, high streets and markets, said: “I’m pleased that this wide range of industry experts are coming together to examine how best to help reinvigorate the country’s town centres.
“No two towns will face the same challenges or require the same solutions, but this work, led by the British Council of Shopping Centres, will give them an insight into what makes a town centre tick, and entices communities to support it.”
Prisk said the conclusions the group reaches could be used by the 300 Town Team Partners and 27 Portas Pilots to “breathe new life into their high streets”.
Mark Williams, chairman of the Distressed Retail Property Taskforce and partner at asset managers, Hark Group, added: “The wider economic, consumer and retail markets have moved at a pace that our high streets and property in general, have not been fast enough to adapt.
“The reasons for this need careful examination as a way of understanding what the current property-related barriers to rejuvenation are, and what the range of options or solutions could be.”