Boots is backing Mary Portas in her quest to turn around Britain’s ailing high streets.

The health and beauty retailer, which last week revealed a tie up with US counterpart Walgreens, is also joining forces with local government and housing minister Grant Shapps.

Boots boss Alex Gourlay, along with other unnamed “leading retailers”, reported the Financial Times,  will offer support and advice to Portas and the 12 towns chosen as Portas Pilots. The British Independent Retailers Association is also working closely with the towns.

Shapps said: “Boots is a stalwart of our high streets with knowledge and expertise that has been developed over decades of experience.”

More retailers are expected to be named shortly.