Summary: Our work to help the High Street
The high streets across the UK are under continuing pressure from the economic downturn, changes in consumer expectations and competing forms of retail. Recent policy reviews of planning in the form of the draft national planning policy framework, the consultation of which closed in October 2011, and Portas review of England’s High streets, published in December 2012 have again focused people’s attention on hundreds of stuggling town centres in every corner of the country. There have been renewed calls in the media for action to reverse the decline of these centres of local economic and social activity: nef's response to Portas is here.
nef has provided responses to the Portas review and were consulted on its development. We have long been arguing for greater recognition of the role local, independent traders play in the retail mix – and for high streets to be reimagined as locally distinct places of cultural, leisure, social and economic opportunity, more generally. nef consulting has been working across the UK, putting these ideas into practice and helping to plug the leaks.