High-street strategy – The Property Chronicle
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High-street strategy

The Professor

Recovery will take more than street parties and more bins.

For politicians and pundits, the death of the British high street has long been a refrain. The pandemic has accelerated the existing trend towards online shopping.

In its recently published ‘levelling-up’ plan for post-pandemic recovery, the UK Government sets the context for its new high-street strategy for England. The big question is: will it work?

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.

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