Sir John Timpson to lead retail experts in battle against high street challenges

A panel of retail experts has been appointed by the government to review the challenges facing the high street and “help communities adapt” to the rapidly changing sector.

The panel is set to be led by Sir John Timpson, chairman of the eponymous shoe repair retailer Timpson.

He will be joined by seven others, including NewRiver property director Emma Mackenzie and former BRC director general Stephen Robertson.

In conjunction with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the panel will call for the public to express what they want from their high streets later this summer.

“High streets and small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we want to see them thrive now and in the future,” high streets minister Jake Berry said.

“People care about their local high streets because they are the centres of their community.

“But our high streets are changing, and the government is committed to helping communities adapt.

“High streets of the future will still be commercial centres but consumers now look for a wider range of experiences, from leisure to health services.

“Our future high streets may well feature more homes, childcare centres and gyms to bring people back and ensure that they keep returning.

Timpson added: “The panel cannot offer an instant, quick fix, solution but we hope to identify practical and common sense decisions that will help the government provide the support that local communities and businesses need to provide the leisure and shopping facilities people will want 25 years from now.”

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