‘Portas Pilot’ towns see 1000 store closures, as Mary Portas attacks business rates
The towns which have received a portion of the £1.2 million grant in 2012 have lost nearly 1000 shops according to The Telegraph.
According to Local Data Company, the closures were in line with the rest of the country. One in five stores closes their shutters.
Mary Portas has accused the government of using her “Save the High Street” campaign as a PR tool, alluding efforts being made to support her when no policies had been created.
She told to The Telegraph that “It feels like there was this great splash from government, which they were getting behind businesses. But they can’t say that and then treble rates – they need to think about the effects on business”.
“We need real policy change. Business needs to be at the heart of planning as the government decides what kind of country we want to live in because the high street is the heart of every community. With rising wages and increased import costs rates is the one area that can be sorted out by government.”
Speaking to BBC’s You and Your programme she hoped her campaign would highlight the real issues facing UK town centres promoting policy change from the government. But nothing came of her efforts.
The “Portas Pilot” towns included in the scheme saw a 17% drop in stores in the last 5 years, and in this number is expected to rise to 22% through 2018.