Mark Whitehead 26 June 2018

Think tank warns struggling high streets are 'too reliant on retail'

Think tank warns struggling high streets are too reliant on retail image

City centres must swap shops for offices, housing and public space if they are to prosper, according to a leading think tank.

The Centre for Cities warns that struggling high streets have too many shops but not enough commercial space for other businesses.

Retail accounts for twice as much space as offices in many city centres but the most successful have more than three times more office space than retail.

In a survey Newport city centre had the highest amount of vacant retail lots at 28% while more than half its commercial space was accounted for by retail premises, followed by Blackpool, Bradford, Wigan and Sheffield.

Those with the lowest proportion of vacant retail lots included Cambridge with just 8%, followed by Brighton, Exeter, London and Worthing.

The think tank says struggling city centres must reduce their reliance on retail and instead focus on creating a better environment for other firms – especially exporting firms in sectors such as ICT, legal services, insurance and marketing.

Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: 'We need to reimagine struggling city centres as places where lots of different businesses can locate and create jobs and where lots of people want to go for a variety of reasons.

'This means reducing the reliance on shops, and focusing on creating a more attractive environment for a wider range of firms.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Service – Children in Care

Derbyshire County Council
A unique and exciting opportunity has arisen for a dynamic, ambitious, and motivated Head of Service for our Children in Care Provision. Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Director of Public Health and Wellbeing

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
£105,392 pa
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council are looking to the future. What future can you help us forge for Dudley? Dudley, West Midlands
Recuriter: Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior Practitioner - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£38000.0 - £46475.0 per annum
In Essex County Council we are "Serious about Social Work". Having won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year Award and been awarded 'Outstanding' England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Principal Psychologist

Essex County Council
£46001.0 - £57000.0 per annum
Please note, this is a part time position (3 days per week) in the D-Bit team. This role is based centrally but requires travel countywide.Essex Count England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Chief Operating officer (s151)

Cornwall Council
Up to £148k + relocation
Cornwall is a place that is forging ahead in the 21st Century. Cornwall
Recuriter: Cornwall Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue