British Property Federation’s chief executive Liz Peace has called on the UK’s major landlords to act as free advisers to help breath new life into struggling town centres.
Talking today at the BPF and Local Data Company’s fifth retail summit, Peace said: “Any local authorities should doing their own version of Portas’ town teams anyway.”
“We have got to put a lot of effort into how landlords get into this. How do we harness the landlords involved? There is a role for big landlords to act as free advisers. We cannot sit back.”
Marcus Jones, MP for Nuneaton, said that UK high streets have to become destinations in their own right if the shop vacancy rates are to be stemmed.
“Town teams are one of the most important aspects of Mary Portas’ review,” Jones said.
“Markets are still very relevant. They are not without their challenges but they are a way of bringing in people and providing something different.”
Michael Wheedon, chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association said the big increase in the number of independent retailers last year contributed to keeping the UK shop vacancy rate stable.
“If you want to save the town centres, the key is to support independent retailers and keep them open,” Wheedon said.
Listen to the full interview with Marcus Jones and Michael Wheedon here, download the full podcast recording, Local Data Company’s 5th annual retail summit, or visit Estates Gazette’s iTunes channel.