Councils have been urged to help local communities take ownership of empty buildings in order to secure the future of Britain’s high streets.
A new report from Power to Change argues high streets are being put at risk due to absentee landlords, fragmented property ownership and a lack of transparency over who owns buildings.
It says that community businesses can revive town centres by delivering what high streets and local people need.
The independent trust calls on local authorities to connect community businesses with vacant properties, ease the asset transfer process and provide secure leases.
Vidhya Alakeson, CEO of Power to Change, said: ‘Community ownership is vital to the revival of the high street. Communities not only care passionately about their local area, more importantly they understand the needs of local people and provide distinctive services that meet local needs.
’This new research shows what can be achieved when local authorities get behind communities and help local people to take ownership over their high street buildings. The results are stable, sustainable and thriving town centres that are in the best possible shape to deal with any future crisis.’