Landlords have embraced Mary Portas’ recommendation to allow them to become high street investors.
The British Property Federation (BPF) said the move, which would allow landlords to contribute to Business Improvement Districts (BIDS), would deliver “significant extra investment” to the high street and urged ministers to accept the proposal.
BPF chief executive Liz Peace said: “Business Improvements Districts are the embodiment of the ‘big society’, with local businesses giving time and money, often voluntarily, to make their high street a bit special.
“We are delighted to see Mary recommending greater landlord involvement in BIDs, and also suggesting how they can be further enhanced with new powers, such as on planning.”
However, the trade body questioned the wisdom of giving the Secretary of State “exceptional sign off” for new out-of-town schemes, and for all new developments to have an “affordable shops” quota.
Peace said: “Out-of-town shopping has some impact on trade in our town centres. As a society, however, we also want retail goods that are cheap and a sector that is efficient.
“However, for independent retailers to thrive they must be places where people wish to shop. Forcing landlords to offer reduced rent through affordable units is a sticking plaster over a much deeper problem.”