By Marcus Leach
Mary Portas will visit Parliament on the 18th October prior to finalising the eagerly anticipated High Street Review.
Mary will be gathering views on the health of town centres from MPs, peers and Ministers representing constituencies across the country.
The High Street Review was commissioned by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and is due to be published before the end of the year. It is being co-ordinated by the Department for Business Skills and Innovation.
Mary Portas, famed for her status as a retail expert, will attend a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Town Centres (APPG) before putting the finishing touches to the Review.
“Our local high streets are a critical part of the fabric of our society," she said.
"Over the past few months I have been gathering evidence from the many different stakeholders that are involved in our town centres. Although I cannot visit every town, this APPG will allow MPs to give me an insight into the issues affecting their high streets.”
Business Minister Edward Davey is eagerly anticipating the review, given the importance of the high street to the UK economy.
"The High Street should be at the heart of every community, bringing people together, providing essential services and creating jobs and investment," he said.
“Since the launch of Mary’s review in May she has met many key stakeholders and identified a number of topics to focus on including planning, business rates, property issues, local coordination, skills development and mentoring new businesses.
“I look forward to seeing Mary’s final report which will identify what government, businesses and local communities can do to develop more prosperous and diverse high streets.”
The APPG is being given the backing of the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) and will be chaired by Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones.
The APPG has been announced at a time when well-known high street brands are struggling and new research from the British Retail Consortium, Springboard UK and ATCM revealed a 2.6% drop in people visiting the high street over the past 12 months from July 2011.
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