New high street forum will build on Portas review

Out-Law News | 07 Feb 2013 | 3:28 pm | 1 min. read

Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk has announced he will establish a Future High Streets Forum to help implement new ideas and policies in line with recommendations from Mary Portas' review of the high street. 

The forum will comprise retail, property and business leaders and will function as an advisor to the country's 27 Portas Pilots and 330 Town Team Partners which emerged from the Portas review. This will include advice on how to adapt to an era of online shopping and how to deal with changing consumer habits.

The forum will also help the Government to develop policies with practical solutions to enable town centres to adapt and change. This will include parking solutions, promoting pop-up shops in vacant spaces, and the reinforcement of 'town centre first' planning rules.

The forum will be co-chaired by Prisk and chief executive of Alliance Boots' health and beauty division, Alex Gourlay. Members will include representatives from John Lewis, the British Retail Consortium and the British Property Federation.

“It is clear that our high streets will need to change to prosper," said Prisk. "There is already great work being done across the country to revitalise the town centres, but it needs to spread further faster. The Future High Streets Forum will help us do that."

“The forum will bring business, councils, retailers and property experts to work together and back communities to rejuvenate our high streets,” he said.

“Boots UK strongly supports the pursuit of creating healthy and prosperous high streets which can be essential, if not the most critical, ingredient in supporting the regeneration of local communities," said Gourlay.

"High streets are vital for the health of our communities, providing services and support that are accessible and within easy walking distance for many people. From speaking to our customers, we know that the survival of the high street is very important to them," he said.