Responding to the committee’s report, Centre for Cities Chief Executive Andrew Carter said:
“This is about how best to save the high street, not about how to save particular shops on the high street. So while reforms to Business Rates and planning are important, if implemented alone they will not address deeper economic changes.
“Changes in consumer habits mean that online retailers are here to stay, so we cannot build a sustainable long term future for the high street by replacing failed shops with more of the same.
“Instead, policy makers should focus on facilitating the growth of things that people cannot access online such as offices for high skill industries, leisure such as restaurants and gyms, and housing.
“The committee’s proposed locally-led approach is right. With this in mind city leaders should be allowed to draw from the National Productivity Investment Fund to provide them with the fiscal tools they need to make city centres attractive places to places to work and play – not just shop.”