Labour to allow councils to transform vacant high streets

394
Labour high street vacancy
Labour to allow councils to transform abandoned stores into cooperatives or community centres
// Labour to allow councils to seize abandoned stores to revitalise them as cooperatives or community centres
// Jeremy Corbyn is expected to announce this on a visit to a high street in Bolton this Saturday
// More than 10% of town centre shops are currently empty

The Labour Party has said it will allow councils to seize abandoned stores to give them a new lease of life as cooperatives or community centres.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to announce the initiative on a visit to a high street in Bolton this Saturday, which will see a revitalisation of struggling high streets in the UK.

Under the Labour proposals, local authorities can offer properties which had been vacant for 12 months to startups, cooperative businesses and community projects.

More than 10 per cent of town centre shops are currently empty, according to a study by the Local Data Company, while 29,000 retail units are estimated to have been left empty for at least a year.

The study also found that the high-street vacancy rate rose last year to 11.5 per cent and 4.8 per cent of vacant space on high streets had been vacant for more than two years.

“Boarded-up shops are a symptom of economic decay under the Conservatives and a sorry symbol of the malign neglect so many communities have suffered,” Corbyn said.

“Once-thriving high streets are becoming ghost streets. Labour has a radical plan to revive Britain’s struggling high streets by turning the blight of empty shops into the heart of the high street, with thousands of new businesses and projects getting the chance to fulfil their potential.”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter