Gifts Today magazine

Support for Independent Retail campaign overhaul to be launched at Future High Street Summit

A major reconstruction of the processes behind the Support for Independent Retail campaign will be unveiled at the Future High Street Summit in Nottingham next week.

The campaign, which has aided independent retailers since its launch in 2011, will introduce a brand new licensing structure, enabling local authorities to purchase the rights to all resources for its three annual events.
New figures from the British Independent Retailers Association (bira), released today in partnership with LDC, have shown that the growth rate for independent retailers has slowed drastically, indicating further issues may be on the horizon for the UK’s high streets. While chain stores have tripled their closure rates in recent years, independent retailers have been filling the gaps, but now it is becoming likely that vacancy rates will once again rise as local authorities fail to encourage and support smaller businesses.

“The statistics show that there are fewer independent retailers opening and if this continues, they will no longer be filling the gaps left by major players pulling out of our high streets,” explains Clare Rayner, the founder of the Support for Independent Retail campaign and of the Future High Street Summit. “Smaller shops are so important to the UK and they’re the ones who are keeping local economies afloat. Local authorities need to divert this oncoming storm and start prioritising their small businesses and independent retailers. If they don’t, the high street could face a real crisis.”

The Future High Street will be held at Nottingham Conference Centre within Nottingham Trent University on 25 and 26 March, providing the perfect opportunity for councils, BIDs, town teams, town centre managers and other high street stakeholders to explore their options for improving their town and city centres. For more information on the event and to see the full agenda, visit the Future High Street Summit website.

Tickets for the conference are on sale now and attendees can sign up here.


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