Considering the future of the High Street …
UK High Streets have been in decline for some time, this can be largely attributed to the increased popularity of internet shopping, out of town retail areas and changes in consumer priorities. As these changes occur the High Street battles to establish a new basis for its existence.
In planning and development terms, the Estates Gazette notes that High Streets need to change to provide mixed-use urban centres that pull communities together, much like the urban centres of the Victorian era, when it was a mix of independent retailers, residential units, offices, jobs and transport. This is what we should see in the reinvention of the High Street.
A key method of transforming High Streets is the provision of funding to Local Authorities to enable the regeneration of these areas. This has proven successful in a range of locations, such as Altringham Market in Trafford and Nottingham’s Boots Island.