UK high street. Photo by Sam van Bussel on Unsplash Events 

Industry opinion: collaboration can revitalise the UK high street

The number of empty shops on Britain’s high streets rose by more than 7,500 last year, and the number of retail openings have fallen every year since 2015, when they were overtaken by closures. While some high streets continue to thrive, many others appear dormant and need to transform. by Izzy Hease, BPF Futures Advisory Board The BPF Futures Challenge is a ground-breaking new initiative that will put real estate’s future leaders at the heart of solving one of the biggest challenges facing our towns and cities: how to breathe…

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UK high Street. Photo by PA/Retail Gazette Editor's Choice Headlines Local Authority Planning & Design Retail 

Change-of-use shake-up to boost ailing UK high streets

The UK Government is working on a shake-up of planning laws to help to revive struggling high streets. James Brokenshire, the communities secretary, is working on draft legislation, seen by The Times, that will scrap the need for landlords and retailers to seek consent to change the use of empty or poorly performing shops, bank branches or estate agents to other services, such as cafés and hairdressers. At present, there are strict rules over what a property can be used for by its occupants, which makes it difficult for landlords…

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Pret A Manger, Victoria Place ©Wikimedia Commons coffee shops Headlines Restaurants & food 

Plant-based food boom tempts Pret to buy high street rival chain

Pret a Manger is reportedly planning to buy rival Eat and turn the chain’s 94 stores into vegetarian outlets. Pret, which has 400 stores in the UK, has four branded as “Veggie Pret” and is aiming to jump on the trend for vegetarian and vegan foods. It comes as plant-based foods are increasing in popularity, with shares in US company Beyond Meat soaring at this month’s stock market debut. Both Pret a Manger and Eat declined to comment. The Evening Standard reported that talks between the two chains were understood…

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