Future High Streets Forum

The Forum, comprised of retail leaders and industry experts, is working together to support and champion local high streets, sharing best practice and developing new solutions to the challenges faced at the local level across the country.

Role of the group

The Future High Street Forum is led by an executive board which brings together leaders across retail, property and business to better understand the competition our high streets and town centres across the country face.

The Forum will provide joint business and government leadership to better enable our high streets and town centres to adapt and compete in the face of changing consumer and social trends.

The Forum will advise the government in the formation and delivery of policies to support high streets and town centres, in the short and longer term.

The Forum will oversee 5 work streams:

  • restructuring high streets
  • digital
  • local partnerships
  • research
  • communications


Name Position Organisation
Marcus Jones (chairman) Minister for Local Government Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
Simon Roberts (co-chairman) Executive Vice President, including President of Boots Walgreens Boots Alliance
John Walden (Chair of digital work stream) Chief Executive Home Retail Group
John Coyne (Chair of restructuring work stream) Chief Executive British Council of Shopping Centres
Brigid Simmonds (Chair of local partnerships work stream) Chief Executive British Beer and Pubs Association
James Lowman (Chair of research work stream) Chief Executive Association of Convenience Stores
Helen Dickinson (Chair of communications work stream) Director General British Retail Consortium
Dr Diane Savory Chair GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership
Robin Foale Managing Director Santander UK


Terms of reference


On 31 May 2014 the forum published Good leadership: great high streets - a report drawing on the lessons learned from 4 of the Portas Pilots 2 years on.

National competition

The forum launched a new competition to help celebrate the Great British High Street.

The Great British High Street Awards are intended to recognise the progress some high streets are making, along with the diversity and services they provide to their local community.

The awards were open to town teams and recognised local partnerships (such as business improvement districts, town centre partnerships and community interest companies) across Britain.

The 6 categories were:

  • city centre
  • town centre
  • market town
  • coastal community
  • local shopping centre or parade of shop
  • village

London high streets could enter the Mayor’s Award for London.

The competition was held in 2014 and 2015. The winners for 2014 were announced on 8 November 2014, and the winners for 2015 were announced on 30 November 2015.

Find out more information on the Great British High Street website.


  1. High streets and town centres