New UK Government Should Act Fast To Revive Town And City Centres: BRC

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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New UK Government Should Act Fast To Revive Town And City Centres: BRC

Following yesterday's UK general election, which Labour won by a landslide, the British Retail Consortium has called on the new government to act fast to revive town and city centres, to stem recent declines in footfall.

“As the new government forms today, it is vital that the problems facing local communities are addressed in its first hundred days," Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, commented, adding that planning reform should be a "priority", as it will "give retailers tools to invest up and down the country.

"Speeding up these processes, alongside reform of business rates, will help town and city centres to thrive. With our high streets undergoing transformation, as properties are used more often for wider purposes beyond retail, these reforms are essential for successful regeneration of local areas across the UK and ensuring footfall recovers in the medium and longer term.”

Read More: Effect Of Labour Policy Agenda On UK Retail Likely To Take Time

Footfall Figures

Total UK footfall was down 2.3% in June, year-on-year, following on from a 3.6% decline in May, the BRC found.


High street footfall decreased by 3.1% in June (compared to -2.7% in May), retail park footfall decreased by 0.4% (compared to -2.3%), and shopping centre footfall decreased by 3.2% (compared to -4.5% in May).

In terms of the UK's different regions, only Scotland saw an increase in footfall in May, rising by 0.2% year-on-year. Northern Ireland was down 0.6%, England decreased by 2.6%, and Wales was down 4.1%.

Cooler Climate

"“With June failing to live up to last year’s heatwave, overall footfall declined last month compared to the previous year," Dickinson added. "However retail parks and shopping centres did see an uptick compared to the previous month’s washout, and footfall levels in Edinburgh and Liverpool were boosted as Taylor Swift enchanted crowds of fans.

"Retailers are hoping that warmer weather and maybe, just maybe, a successful European Championships for England could bring footfall home this July."

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