21st February 2019

UK Parliament Publishes ‘High Streets & Town Centres 2030’ Report

Today (February 21) the UK Parliament publishes its long awaited ‘High Streets & Town Centres 2030 Report’.

While some challenges around the area of the survival of town centres and the survival of the ‘High Street’ are unique to the UK. many of those issues and challenges are shared here in Ireland, where we have seen the retail and business dynamic within our regional towns undergo significant change.

The UK ‘High Streets & Town Centres 2030 Report’ details the four systemic issues it believes are harming high streets:

  1. Too much retail space
  2. Fragmented ownership
  3. Retailers’ high fixed costs: business rates and rent
  4. Business taxation

Within this, the report indicates that the burden of business rates is something which goes beyond just retail and impacts other sectors.

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

The Steering Committee said:

“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.”

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