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Government to appoint high street minister

The Government is set to appoint a minister for town centres on the back of Mary Portas’ review into the future of the high street.

Mary Portas has revealed that a minister for town centres would be appointed before March, when a Government response to the review is expected.

“They are looking to allocate a minister for town centres, which will be a first,” said Portas.

Portas, who had just stepped out of a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron this afternoon when she revealed the plans, was appointed by Government earlier this year to assess what can be done to revive the UK’s high streets.

This morning she set out her 28 recommendations to revive the UK’s high street.

Among her recommendations Portas suggested that “Town Teams” should be put in place to help create a “visionary, strategic and strong operational management team for high streets”.

She also said a new “National Market Day” should be established where budding shopkeepers can try their hand at operating a low-cost retail business.

Further suggestions include a parking league table, a public register of high street landlords and Portas also suggested that large retailers should support and mentor local businesses and independent retailers.

Over the last seven months, Portas has visited towns across the UK to find out how various regions are suffering or prospering to include in her report.

The self styled ‘Queen of shops’ urged local councils to work closely with retailers to create a brand identity for local high streets.

Source : Victoria Gallagher – Retail Week  

13 December 2011
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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