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Mary Portas launches independent review into the future of the High Street

The purpose of the review will be to identify what government, local authorities and businesses can do to promote the development of more prosperous…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The purpose of the review will be to identify what government, local authorities and businesses can do to promote the development of more prosperous and diverse high streets.

It will also form part of the Government’s wider Growth Review which is examining how we can remove the barriers to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“The High Street should be at the very heart of every community, bringing people together, providing essential services and creating jobs and investment; so it is vital that we do all that we can to ensure they thrive.

“That is why I am delighted that Mary Portas has agreed to take on this review and I am confident that her straight talking, no nonsense approach will help us to create vibrant and diverse town centres and bring back the bustle to our high streets.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“Empty High Streets are a blight on the local economy. Vacant shops are also a wasted opportunity with far reaching consequences. When goods and services start to disappear our sense of community can be weakened and undermined. It is vital therefore that we examine what steps can be taken to revitalise and reinvigorate high street shopping centres across the country.

“I look forward to seeing Mary Portas’ final report which will identify what government, businesses and local communities can do to develop more prosperous and diverse high streets.”

Mary Portas said:

“With town centre vacancy rates doubling over the last two years the need to take action to save our high streets has never been starker.

“I am calling on businesses, local authorities and shoppers to contribute their ideas on how we can halt this decline in its tracks and create town centres that we can all be proud of.”

As part of her review Mary Portas will advise on how Government, businesses and shoppers can:

  • Address the problem of vacant shops
  • Adopt new business models for the high street that fit the needs of the modern shopper.
  • Prevent the proliferation of ‘clone towns’
  • Increase the number of small and independent retailers doing business in local town centres.

The review was launched at an engagement event held at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on Tuesday.

As part of her review Mary Portas will visit a number of town centres and engagement events across England.

Mary Portas will present the review to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Edward Davey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), by autumn 2011.

Notes to Editors

  1. To contribute to the review please visit: (please note that this link will not go live until 0930 tomorrow)

  2. The Mary Portas review is part of a number of pieces of work to support the retail sector. The Red Tape Challenge was launched by the Prime Minister on 7 April 2011, giving the public a chance to have their say on the more than 21,000 regulations that affect their everyday lives. The first theme was regulations in the retail sector which was open from 7 April to 5 May.

  3. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See []( for more information.

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Ashley Rogers. Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 5971 Fax



Published 17 May 2011