By Daniel Hunter

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is responding to the launch of the Future High Streets Forum today (Thursday), calling it a welcome step towards addressing some of the deep-seated problems facing many of our high streets.

The Forum, being launched today in Loughborough, brings together businesses, councils, retailers and property experts to progress work on securing a successful evolution of our high streets and to take forward recommendations from the Portas Review of high streets.

The BRC launched its original high street rescue plan in 2009 and published an audit of progress, 21st Century High Streets: What next for Britain's town centres?, last December.

British Retail Consortium Director General Helen Dickinson will be a member of the new Forum. She said: "We welcome the continued focus on finding practical solutions to the difficulties that many of our high streets face. Successful town centres are the beating heart of our communities and essential to local economies. Many high streets are facing a real endurance test in these relentlessly tough times, and rising operating costs are making matters worse.

"The BRC has long campaigned for action to secure a successful evolution of our town centres and to make them safe, attractive and viable. We've set out clear steps for improving local trading environments and preserving and protecting local businesses. We very much support the implementation of meaningful measures at national and local level to support towns and cities across England."

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