Grimsey calls for more leisure space in bid to revive high street

 
Kasmira Jefford
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RETAILERS can no longer be relied on to be the anchor on Britain’s high streets, according to retail expert Bill Grimsey’s review out yesterday, which calls for more housing, education and leisure space to help “repopulate” town centres.

The former Iceland chief executive yesterday published his self-funded “alternative review” of the high street to the one published by the retail expert Mary Portas in December 2011.

His 31 recommendations also include a one-off levy on all leisure and retail companies – 0.25 per of one year’s turnover – to help fund new small businesses.

The British Retail Consortium, which represents more than two thirds of UK retailers, said it opposed such a levy, but agreed with other measures including a freeze on car parking charges and a “more coherent vision” from local authorities of how they see their town centres developing.