Journalist and broadcaster to conduct government review into town centres

Retail guru and television presenter Mary Portas has been commissioned by the government to lead a review into the future of the High Street.

Portas, who has written several books of advice to shops and shoppers, will look at how to create “more prosperous and diverse high streets”.

In the review, she will find ways to:

  • 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.

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.”

The review will be presented to the Prime Minster and BIS by autumn 2011.