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7 TOWN CENTRES


Mary Portas to conduct high street review


and said he was confident that Mary Portas’s “straight talking, no nonsense approach” would help create vibrant and diverse town centres. “The high street should


be at the very heart of every community, bringing people together, providing essential services and creating jobs and investment; so it is vital that we do all that we can to ensure they thrive,” he said. As part of her review,


David Cameron and Nick Clegg have announced that retail advisor, Mary Portas – most famous for presenting TV programme, Mary Queen of Shops - has been appointed to lead an independent review into the future of the high street.


The purpose of the


review will be to identify what government, local authorities and businesses can do to promote the development of more prosperous and diverse high streets. It will also form part of the


Government’s wider Growth Review which is examining how to remove the barriers to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries. Mary Portas is an


expert on retail and brand communication. She is the founder of retail and brand communication agency Yellowdoor and has written several books on retailing. Prime Minister David


Cameron welcomed the review


Mary Portas will advise on how Government, businesses and shoppers can address the problems of vacant shops, adopt new business models, prevent the proliferation of clone towns and increase the number of small and independent retailers. The Association of Town


Centre Management (ATCM), which was in attendance at the launch of the review, has welcomed the news and believes Mary Portas’ input will add credibility. CEO Martin Blackwell said:


“Over the years Mary Portas has become a sort of symbolic figurehead for high street shops and has been an excellent advocate and champion of retail. We are delighted that someone with her profile has been chosen for this worthwhile task. We very much look forward to discussing the review with her and providing any support she needs through our network of members and partners across the UK.” Mary Portas will present the


review to Cameron, Clegg and Edward Davey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), by Autumn 2011.


Resources the main challenge in Night Time Economy Management


At the last Night Time Economy Management Network meeting in Soho, attendees set down a challenge by identifying the top five issues facing the sector. Finding the resources for the management of night time economy (NTE) was widely regarded as the top issue.


The upcoming meeting in Glasgow on June 2nd will take


a detailed look at how sources for the funding of NTE can be secured and managed with workshops helping to identify possible funding avenues. It is free to attend. On top of this, the Glasgow City Centre Safety Initiative,


covering Best Bar None, Nite Zones, Street Pastors and the Radio Network – which have all proved successful in reducing Glasgow’s violence and disorder figures to an all-time low – will be discussed. Morag Beattie, Coordinator of DUNCAN, (The Dundee Co-


ordinated Anticrime Network) will talk about Dundee’s Best Bar None Award Scheme, J G Collie’s Janet Hood will discuss licencing in Scotland and Ian Fox will speak on behalf of the National Doorwatch Steering Group.


Springboard High Street Index


April this year was a more complex month than usual, with footfall patterns in our high streets being affected by Easter, the royal wedding and the May Day bank holiday weekend. Footfall increased by 11.4


per cent from March – the largest monthly change this year – but declined annually from April 2010 by 0.8 per cent. While April’s year-on-year performance is an improvement on the annual decline of 1.3 per cent recorded in March, it is the first negative year-on- year change in April since 2008 when the month was adversely affected by Easter occurring in March. The annual decline of 0.8 per cent in April is somewhat of a surprise after the positive results recorded for Easter which saw a year-on-year


change in footfall of 2.8 per cent last Easter. The average annual change


in footfall for 2011 up to the end of April is -1.2 per cent, the most positive result since the first Index in 2006. In terms of night time


economy, footfall in the UK’s high street in April during night time hours increased by 3.3 per cent from April 2010 and 9.4 per cent over the month from March.


The year-on-year change


of 3.3 per cent is a significant improvement on the annual change recorded in March of 1.6 per cent, and a more favourable annual change than the 0.8 per cent recorded over 24 hours.


The impact of Easter on


footfall during night time hours in April is clearly evident, and was likely to be supported by the good weather.


www.shopping-centre.co.uk May 2011 SHOPPING CENTRE


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