Former Focus boss Bill Grimsey will unveil his review on how to save Britain’s struggling high streets next month.
The Grimsey Review, which has been endorsed by Asda chief executive Andy Clarke, is set to be published on September 4 at a parliamentary reception.
It has been billed as the alternative high street review as it follows retail expert Mary Portas’s review in 2011.
When it was launched in June the former Wickes boss promised it would be a “complete solution” to the high street’s ills. Grimsey believes it is necessary to look beyond retail to fix the woes on the high street as there is likely to be a role for health centres, education, housing and leisure in town centres as the growth of out-of-town and online retail has pushed up the vacancy rate on the high street.
The review, for which Grimsey is not being paid, is understood to primarily focus on proposals to reform the business rates system as well as planning, access to finance and local Government.
The Portas Review, which was backed by the Government, set out 28 recommendations as to how it can improve high streets and it led to the Government providing funding for 27 Portas Pilot towns to trial the recommendations.
However, Grimsey has previously criticised Portas for not going far enough to transform high streets.