6 Jul 2018
Policy area: BPF
The British Property Federation (BPF) today urges Government to support Bill Grimsey’s call for the creation of a Town Centre Commission. Strong local leadership – with vision, an actionable plan and the power to deliver positive impact – will be critical in shaping the future success of UK high streets.
Bill Grimsey, former chief executive of Wickes and Iceland, today published his Grimsey Review 2 of the high street, in which he recommended:
Further recommendations that the BPF believes will make a positive impact, to ensure high streets not only survive, but thrive, include:
Back in 2013, Grimsey published his first Review of the high street, in which he called for a ‘root and branch’ review of business rates. Five years later, this review and a much-needed overhaul of the business rates system have still not been undertaken, and Grimsey rightfully calls Government to once again accept that there is no confidence in the system. The BPF reiterates this call and stresses that while some progress has been made, the system remains fundamentally unfit for purpose and businesses continue to struggle.
Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation comments:
"This is a commendable report that deserves serious attention by policymakers and politicians. A group of experts have said we need to reinvent our town centres and had the gumption to set out how we might go about it. Many of our towns are going to need significant adaptation.
“The report rehearses well the powers, partnerships, and policies that will help. It recognises the critical role of local authorities as placemakers – and it also recognises that you cannot have a serious conversation about the challenges faced by high streets, without considering the impact of business rates."