London Councils report on high streets

Streets Ahead: London Councils

  • The capital has almost 7,000 vacant shops, costing the London economy £350 million in lost trade and earnings
  • Streets Ahead provides 13 recommendations to place boroughs at the centre of local economic development in their high streets and town centres.
  • It calls for the government to grant councils more powers to curb betting shops, payday lenders and fried food outlets, which can damage high streets. It shows that devolving more powers to councils would help stimulate growth and new jobs
  • It provides case studies of innovation, including:
    • The London Borough of Harrow’s Inward Investment Strategy team has worked with banks and property agents to develop investment guides to its local district centres, highlighting local demographics and available properties. The average vacancy rate for retail frontages in town centres across the borough has fallen for the second year running from a high of 7.5 per cent in 2009/10 to 6.5 per cent in 2011/12
    • The London Borough of Sutton developed a ‘meanwhile lease’ for previously vacant units. This provides an industry standard legal instrument to minimise administrative and legal costs for both landlords and tenants and to enable temporary occupation to take place without the need for lengthy legal procedures, encouraging new enterprises and bringing innovation and creativity back to the high street



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