The CBI commented on a report by Mary Portas on the future of the high street.
Dr Neil Bentley, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:
‘Retail represents about 10% of our economy, and the high street is a vital part of this.
The Portas Review makes some sensible suggestions about how we can inject life back into town centres, including increased use of Business Improvement Districts and relaxing planning restrictions on the high street, in particular on change of use.
More importantly, she recognises the growing burden business rates are placing on companies right across the country at a critical time.
We need to make sure the UK remains attractive to investors, as it’s their decisions that will ultimately lead to regeneration of our town centres. Any changes to the planning and business rate regimes must therefore encourage investment in the broadest sense, and not just rob Peter to pay Paul.’