A Labour Government would give local authorities the power to reopen abandoned shops in order to ‘revive Britain’s struggling high streets’, it was announced over the weekend.
Visiting a high street in Bolton on Saturday, Jeremy Corbyn said that councils would be able to turn ‘the blight of empty shops into the heart of the high street’ by giving them over to start-ups, co-operative businesses and community projects.
Labour say their plans, which would apply to property left vacant for one year, would bring back into use some of the estimated 29,000 physical retail units which have been abandoned for more than 12 months.
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Andrew Gwynne, said: ‘Under this Government, our high streets have suffered a retail apocalypse. High street closures are at a historic high, leaving too many of our once thriving towns abandoned and awash with boarded up shop fronts.
'Labour’s radical plan will turn around the mess that the Tories have created and will give local authorities the power to make our high streets the pride of our communities that they once were.’