New forum aims to revive the high street

The Future High Streets Forum was launched last week in order to build on the foundations of Mary Portas’s High Street Review.

The group will bring together civic and business leaders from a range of sectors. Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk announced a £1 million package of mentoring and support for town teams across the country.

Mr Prisk said: “Over the last year this government has worked hard to help boost the high street, including initiatives to simplify planning, revamp the public realm, cut the business rate burden and revive local markets.

“Now, the Future High Streets Forum will take a joint the lead in driving forward these initiatives and providing the strategic leadership needed to analyse the competition and tackle the difficult problems which conventional high streets need to address.”

In its first meeting the Future High Streets Forum considered how to ensure that help for high streets continues to be available right across the country.

The group is tasked with helping accelerate the programme of local mentoring established in response to the Portas review and expanding initiatives such as Love Your Local Markets.

They will also advise the government how better use could be made of existing buildings as well as how to bring people back to live in town centres and increase footfall.

In order to make the best use of the £1million package, expert advice will be gathered from over 30 expert organisations, including the British Council of Shopping Centres, Association of Convenience Stores and the British Parking Association.

Through workshops, secondments and mentoring, the support programme will help town teams to drive local momentum, share lessons learnt and achieve their goals.

But what does the high street renewal campaign tell us about the future of conveyancing?

If high streets die, and consumers become more used to buying goods and services on line, will same be true for conveyancing?

Should conveyancers be working with local independent agents to join this campaign in order to fight to keep their local market face to face?

Or should they be shaping up to take on more and more online business?

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