High Streets 2030 Report Published

21 Feb 2019

Share this with your colleagues

For more information on this report, click here.

This morning, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee in UK Parliament published its long awaited 'High streets and town centres in 2030' report following it's inquiry which begun last year.

The report details the four systemic issues it believes are harming UK high streets:

  • Too much retail space
  • Fragmented ownership
  • Retailers’ high fixed costs: business rates and rent
  • Business taxation

Within this, the report indicates something which has concerned ATCM for years, that the burden of business rates is something which goes beyond just retail and impacts other sectors with Cineworld having one of the most negative ratios when it comes to the proportion of business rates paid in relation to turnover.

Future Proofing
The Committee has concluded that ensuring town centres are more orientated around community and activity will support the process of Future Proofing.

The Committee says:

"We are convinced that high streets and town centres will survive, and thrive, in 2030 if they adapt, becoming activity-based community gathering places where retail is a smaller part of a wider range of uses and activities. Green space, leisure, arts and culture and health and social care services must combine with housing to create a space that is the “intersection of human life and activity” based primarily on social interactions rather than financial transactions. Individual areas will need to identify the mix that best suits their specific characteristics, local strengths, culture and heritage. Fundamentally, community must be at the heart of all high streets and town centres in 2030."

 
MPs on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee join ATCM staff and ATCM Members in Stockton and Darlington for study tours late in 2018

The Future High Streets Fund
The Committee has welcomed the Future High Streets Fund, but has recognised that many towns will miss out on this support with ATCM's CEO, Ojay McDonald, stressing that better resourced local authorities must be part of a longer-term answer.

The Committee says:

"The Future High Streets Fund is only one part of the solution. Local intervention, while essential, needs to be accompanied by further action by central government and at local level, as well as by retailers and landlords, to create the conditions for high streets and town centres to flourish in the future."

In partnership with the Institute of Place Management and The BID Foundation, ATCM provided written evidence to the Committee. ATCM also provided oral evidence and supported study tours of the Committee to Stockton and Darlington last year. We want to thank the Committee for the interest in town centres and providing cross-party, public scrutiny over the UK Government's support for town centres.

Treasury Announces Inquiry into Business Rates
The end of this inquiry comes days after the Treasury Committee has announced an inquiry of its own, looking at greater detail at the role of the business rates system in terms of both the impact on businesses and local government finance. ATCM will be monitoring this and working with  members and partners to influence the final report in the coming months. 


For more information on 'High streets and town centres 2030' can be found here.

 

More information on the Treasury Committee inquiry into business rates can be found here.