The Distressed Retail Property Taskforce (DRPT) has today announced that it is teaming up with real estate firm CollIiers International to aid in the analysis of the effects of property-related red tape on Britain’s town centres.
Last year, the Government supported the establishment of the taskforce in response to retail guru Mary Portas’ review of UK high streets and the industry-led body unites industry experts across property, banking and retail while being chaired by retail property trade body the British Council of Shopping Centres.
Mark Charlton, Head of Research and Forecasting, Colliers International said of the firm’s new role: “We will be looking at the root causes of town centre distress and working with the taskforce to address them.
“A primary objective of the research will be to identify a range of robust solutions to assist in the repositioning of town centres to enable them to operate successfully within the new retail hierarchy.”
Administrations have rocked the sector in recent weeks and, although shop vacancy rates declined in December according to the Local Data Company, experts have warned that there is the possibility of stores closures doubling on 2012 over the course of this year.
Colliers, which has now been instructed by the DRPT, can begin its assessment of town centres, looking into property-related issues affecting particular locations and identifying any broader trends across the country that need to be acted upon.
Mark Williams, Chairman of the DRPT and partner at asset managers, Hark Group, commented:
“We were delighted with the level of interest and range of proposals put forward, which illustrates how important this area is seen by the wider industry.
“We were however unanimous in our decision to select Colliers and welcome them on board to support this important, and unprecedented, assessment of UK town centres.”