The UK’s high streets, the beating hearts of our communities, have reached a critical tipping point.
Three decades of decline because of the growth of out-of-town retail; the rise of megastores; and more recently a seismic shift towards online shopping, has left the high street vulnerable. Over reliant on retail, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the decline.
We are perilously close to losing these community spaces that are vital to local economies, community cohesion, civic pride, cultural identity, and local distinctiveness.
A new vision for our high streets is urgently needed. We argue that understanding the needs of local communities, giving them greater power and ownership, and enabling diversification of our high streets is essential to their survival.
COMMUNITY-POWERED HIGH STREETS: HOW COMMUNITY BUSINESSES WILL BUILD TOWN CENTRES FIT FOR THE FUTURE
This new Take Back The High Street report by Power to change explores the reasons why high street vacancy rates have increased and set out the policy change needed for community-led regeneration of our high streets.
This new report warns of rising persistent vacancy rates, discusses the challenges facing high streets and sets out clear policy recommendations for government to help create community-led high streets of the future.
More research & reports
This report, from the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, takes a strategic look at the role community businesses can play in addressing the challenges of UK high streets. It considers how community businesses can succeed in high streets, what they can contribute, and what support they need to make a long-term difference to restore ‘pride in place’ in struggling town centres.
The idea of CIDs is now being tested in seven locations in England. The aim of this pilot work is to explore exactly what a CID might be when the theory is translated into practice, how CIDs develop and operate, how they overcome barriers and challenges, and how the idea of CIDs fits within the national policy context. This report summarises emerging learning from the first phase of the CID programme, and outlines key questions for the next phase of research.
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