Future High Streets Forum

The national Future High Streets Forum advises government on the challenges facing high streets and helps to develop practical policies to enable town centres to adapt and change.

Role of the group

The forum brings together leaders across retail, property and business to better understand the competition town centres across the country face and to drive forward new ideas and policies.

The forum’s role includes:

  • helping to accelerate the programme of local mentoring established in response to the Portas review
  • advising the government how better use could be made of existing buildings, to bring preople back to live in town centres, increasing footfall and supporting shops
  • supporting the expansion of initiatives such as Love Your Local Markets and pop-up shops across the country
  • researching a practical toolkit to help town teams futureproof their high streets
  • exploring solutions to barriers like local parking policy


Name Position Organisation
Penny Mordaunt MP (co-chairman) Minister for High Streets, Town Centres and Markets Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
Simon Roberts (co-chairman) Managing Director Health and Beauty UK and Republic of Ireland, Alliance Boots
Alan Hawkins Chief Executive Officer British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA)
BIS official   Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
Brigid Simmonds Chief Executive British Beer and Pubs Association
Graham Harris Managing Director Dartford Borough Council
Graham Wilson Chief Executive National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA)
Helen Dickinson Director General British Retail Consortium (BRC)
Hilary Hall Chief Executive National Hairdressers’ Federation
James Lowman Chief Executive Association of Convenience Stores (ACS)
Jane Pritchard Director Business in the Community (BiTC)
Jason Cotta Operations Director UK Costa Coffee - Whitbread
Joe Harrison Chief Executive Officer National Market Traders Federation (NMTF)
John Walden Chief Executive Home Retail Group
To be confirmed To be confirmed British Property Federation (BPF)
To be confirmed To be confirmed Association of Town & City Management (ATCM)
Mary Portas Author, Portas Review Portas Agency
Edward Cooke Director of Policy and Public Affairs British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC)
To be confirmed To be confirmed Local Government Association (LGA)
Mike Tye Chief Executive Spirit Pub Company
Neil McCourt Regional Director, Tesco North Tesco
Professor Neil Wrigley Professor of Geography Southampton University
Paula Vennells Chief Executive Post Office Ltd
Peter Cross Communications Director John Lewis Partnership
Richard Forte Chief Operating Officer McDonalds


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 open for applications from 18 June to 1 August 2014. The winners were announced on 8 November 2014.

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


  1. High streets and town centres