Ten out of the 12 towns picked for a “Portas Pilot” high street makeover have seen a fall in occupied retail units in the last year in a stark sign of the worsening state of Britain’s town centres.
Mary Portas, the retail “guru” who carried out a review of high streets for the coalition, admitted the statistics as she was quizzed by MPs on Monday.
“That is happening across the country, that is the tsunami we saw coming,” she told the communities select committee. “The big chains are not going to be on the high street in the way they were before.”
Major retailers would still want to have outlets in major shopping centres and prime high streets: but they had deserted “secondary” and “tertiary” high streets and were never coming back, she said.
The first wave of 12 Portas Pilot towns were awarded government support and a share of a £1.2m fund called the High Street Innovation Fund. They included Bedford, Croydon, Read more