'Radical action' needed to revive high streets

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The Independent Online

Radical action, including the creation of enterprise zones, the compulsory purchase of derelict stores and rent-free deals, is required to revive the UK's ailing high streets, the head of the British Retail Consortium said yesterday. Rob Templeman, the former chief executive of Debenhams who now chairs the retail lobby group, was critical however of a Government-sponsored initiative to regenerate high streets, involving Mary Portas. "When you propose projects with £11.5m of funding across 12-15 towns, that is not much good when you have just charged retailers £350m extra for rates," he said. "We need Government to stand up and do something positive about getting growth going."