Today I have announced my support to give councils the power to reopen abandoned shops to “revive Britain’s struggling high streets.” The policy comes as latest figures show that over 10% of town centre shops are empty.
Local Authorities will be able to turn “the blight of empty shops into the heart of the high street” by giving them over to start-ups, co-operative businesses and community projects.
These plans would apply to property left vacant for 12 months, would rejuvenate Britain’s high streets by bringing back into use some of the estimated 29,000 physical retail units which have been abandoned for more than 12 months.
Boarded up shops are a symptom of economic decay under the Conservatives and a sorry symbol of the malign neglect so many communities have suffered.
Once thriving high streets are becoming ghost streets. Under this Government, we’ve seen our high streets suffering a retail apocalypse.
High street closures are at a historic high, leaving too many of our once thriving high streets abandoned and awash with boarded up shop fronts. This is happening right across Blackpool town centre and Cleveleys high street.
This radical plan will turn around the mess that the Tories have created and will give local authorities the power to make our high streets the pride of our communities that they once were.