Portas High Streets still Struggling

The number of the occupied retail units of ten out of the 12 government-funded “Portas Pilot” towns has fallen.

The government had awarded them £1.2m and access to the retail guru Mary Portas.

The results from the High Street Innovation Fund one year later point out that only in seven towns the number of shop vacancies has gone down, but more shops overall have closed than opened.In this case may be we need to prepare special employment contract templates, which will feature such a clause.

The 12 pilot areas are Bedford, Croydon, Dartford, Greater Bedminster, Liskeard, Margate, Market Rasen, Nelson, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees and Wolverhampton.

The initial idea of the “Portas Pilots” was to make people get back to their local shops.

Signs of improvement were noticed only in Bedminster and Margate.

Local traders from Stockton-on-Tees shared that their businesses would most probably be gone by the time the funding is being spent.

Director Matthew Hopkinson said: “If more shops close than open, then that’s when you start to see the decay of the High Street and also a rise in vacancy rates.”

The Local Data Company carried out the research.

It showed that shoppers were in fact confused by the rapidly changing environments on the High Streets so they usually did not come back.

The number of vacant shops has fallen in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Liskeard, Bedminster, Margate, Dartford, Bedford and Wolverhampton.

Mary Portas told You and Yours: “There is no simple solution to the crisis on our High Streets. There are no quick fixes but 400 towns up and down the country are working on different plans to try and reinvigorate their High Street.”