This time, I talk about the challenges and opportunities facing high streets in the UK, sharing my own experiences as a commercial property investor and operator, as well as insights from working with other investors in the industry.
I’ll talk you through various factors affecting high streets, such as business rates, parking, transport, planning, and the changing retail landscape, emphasising the need for a holistic approach to revitalising town centres, including a mix of uses, experiences, and residential spaces.
- The high street is facing challenges, but there are opportunities for investors and operators.
- Each town and high street has unique circumstances and requires a tailored approach to regeneration.
- Business rates and inflexible rate systems are a major obstacle for businesses and landlords.
- Parking, transport, and planning policies play a significant role in the success of high streets.
- Bringing more residential spaces into town centres can contribute to their revitalisation
“The new minimum wage. Whatever the logic for £11.44 an hour, whether it’s political, social, whatever, the result, or one of the results, is that food and beverage establishments and retail are going to find it incredibly difficult not to put prices up considerably.”
“The levers are similar, but the combinations can be quite different.”
“The income generation for government in city centres is through business rates. Now, OK, maybe through parking tickets too. But it’s through a business rate system. And it’s all about retail space.”
“The new high streets won’t just be about selling goods. The mix will include shops, but could also include housing, offices, sport, schools or other social, commercial and cultural enterprises and meeting places.”
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