At the end of 2008, the average town centre vacancy was under 6%, but at the end of 2010 it was 14.5%. If the decline continues at this rate in two years’ time almost a third of UK high streets will be standing empty. So say studies carried out by the Deparment of Business and Innovation.
Mary Portas, star of shows such as Mary Queen of Shops and Mary Queen of Frocks has been asked by Government to advise on issues such as how to address the problem of vacant shops, prevent the proliferation of ‘clone towns’, and increase the number of small and independent retailers in local town centres.
Ms Portas is expected to finish her investigations by the end of the year and is due to report to Government on Tuesday 13 December.
Mary has received nearly 2,000 comments on her website from members of the public and high street retailers since the review began.
Findings from two HTF/EH workshops attended by a wide range of property professionals, retail practitioners and partnership organisations will also fed into the report.