Recovery will take more than street parties and more bins.
The markers the Government has used to determine declining high-street performance – falling sales, vacant retail units, fewer shoppers, attractions and activities – are not new. In 2010, when the Government appointed retailer and broadcaster Mary Portas to solve the high-street problem, in the wake of the global recession, she focused on supporting retailers.
But retail is only part of it. As Scotland’s 2012-13 national review of town centres showed, high streets are places embedded in, and reflective of, local communities. The health of the high street mirrors the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of the people it serves.