Enhancing the value of local authority assets in town centres

31st January 2014.

Contemporary policy for town centres is failing to recognise the importance of Local Authority Assets.  Therefore, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) have recently collaborated on a research project exploring the role and value of local authority assets in town centres.

City and town centres across the United Kingdom are in a worrying state.  A historical focus on town centre retail, followed by the recession and has led to shop closures and empty high streets. The Coalition Government appointed retail expert Mary Portas as a figurehead to review the state of English high streets. This work made a number of recommendations targeted at breathing economic and community life back into our high streets.

During Summer 2013, both Government and other town centre and retail experts have reviewed the progress of the recommendations and associated activities of the Portas Review. In 10 of the 12 initial Portas Pilot towns, more retail units closed than opened in the past year – with a loss of 95 units in total.