By Daniel Hunter
The Distressed Retail Property Taskforce has launched today (Monday)
as senior figures from across the banking, retail and property sectors have signed up to the industry-wide group.
The aim of the task force is to rejuvenate the country's failing town centres, and is being seen as the most significant development since Mary Portas's much-talked-about review of the High Street.
Its first priority will be to find out how big the problem of retail property indebtedness is across the UK. Empty, dilapidated shops are a familiar scene across many of Britain's struggling town centres.
"The Taskforce recognises that our high streets are going through a structural recalibration, rather than an economic cycle from which we will emerge over time," Mark Williams, the chairman of the task force said.
"We have too many shops, the wrong size and under-invested. So the change in town centres that is required is significant and will require public and private sectors coming together to find ways of financing these changes.
"What we're talking about are essentially infrastructure projects that can future-proof our towns for the next 50 to 60 years."
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