High street future review welcomed by businessman

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A BUSINESSMAN who backed the Mercury’s Shop Local campaign has welcomed the findings of a review into the future of the high streets.

Retail expert Mary Portas published her review into the future of the high streets on Tuesday, after Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg asked her to look at how to breathe life back into town centres.

The review makes ambitious recommendations on what can be done by government, local authorities and business to help high streets deliver something new.

It includes recommendation to get town centres running like businesses by strengthening the management of high streets through town teams, encouraging affordable town centre car parking and encouraging large retailers to go into high streets.

Doug Balderson is chairman of the South Kesteven branch of the Federation of Small Businesses. He has backed our Shop Local campaign, which calls on readers to support shops in Stamford, Bourne, Rutland and the Deepings.

He said of the review: “It looks like, through this review, Mary Portas has really understood that challenge, and has put forward measures that should ensure the long-term sustainability of our high streets.

“What we need now is for it to be translated into action, especially locally.”

Mary was quoted as saying: “I hope that my recommendations can be a catalyst for change but high streets must be ready to experiment, try new things, take risks and become destinations again.”

She was unavailable to comment further.