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Save the High Street scheme fails

12 Portas Pilot towns lose 17% of stores despite £1.2m grant and retail guru’s support


THE Government’s Save The High Street campaign fronted by self-proclaimed Queen Of Shops Mary Portas has failed according to figures from the Local Data Company.

Back in 2012, 12 towns across the UK shared a £1.2million grant and support from the retail guru and Ministers in a bid to transform them into thriving retail hubs.
But the Daily Telegraph reported yesterday, Wednesday, November 8, that in a survey for BBC Radio 4’s You And Yours show LDC found the Portas Pilot towns had lost 17 per cent of their shops, suffering the same rate of decline as the rest of the country.
The group – Bedford, Croydon, Dartford, Greater Bedminster, Liskeard, Margate, Market Rasen, Nelson, Newbiggin-By-The-Sea, Stockport, Stockton-On-Tees and Wolverhampton – have seen a net loss of 969 retail units over the five years.
Mary (pictured) has now accused the Government of using her campaign as a PR exercise, claiming it was used to create the impression that efforts were being made to revive Britain's High Streets but no policies were actually created.
And she renewed calls for Chancellor Phillip Hammond to scrap business rates, recent increases to which she has said would kill one in three shops, describing the move as the “single biggest blow to independent shops since the financial crisis”.
She told the Daily Telegraph: "It feels like there was this great splash from Government, that they were getting behind businesses. But they can't say that and then treble rates – they need to think about the effects on business.”

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