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Property task force to revitalise town centres

A property industry task force has become the latest body to launch a scheme to regenerate Britain’s high streets, according to The Times.

The Distressed Property Task Force will work with landlords and shopping centres that are heavily indebted or in administration to find ways to invest in or sell properties to avoid decline. It has been formed by the British Retail Consortium, the British Council of Shopping Centres, the British Property Federation and a number of property lenders and pension funds.

The task force will try to find ways to help heavily indebted retail landlords centre shops combat the negative impact of falling rents and declining investment town

Mark Williams, chairman of the task force, told The Times that falling capital values and rental income streams means that many shopping centres and town centre properties are valued at significantly less than the level of debt held against them.

“Given current economic conditions, lenders are unwilling, or unable, to offload these properties and write off the debt, or to loan out more money to improve them. The negative knock-on effect is physical degeneration and social decline.”

Retail guru Mary Portas has also been working  to reverse the decline of the country’s high streets and has been working with the government to develop an action plan. Her report, published in May, will see 12 towns will receive £100,000 to invest in proving their derelict shopping areas.

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