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[Reposted] LGA: "Alternative high street: Rethinking the town centre challenge"

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(from early-2012)

"For better or for worse, our town centres are changing, responding to powerful socio-economic trends driving shifts in retail behaviour.

"Locally, there is consensus among town centre partners that new approaches are needed to ensure high streets adapt successfully, the merits of which are drawn out by the contributions to this report.

"Nationally, Mary Portas, like most other national commentators, has pointed to plummeting retail spend in town centres as the beginning of the end for high streets.

"But it is crucial that we begin to think more positively about the challenge facing our town centres. Retail is not the future, and town centres are adapting. We have to go back to the start, moving beyond retail, and refocusing places as centres of social, community and cultural economies.

"This is our vision for the alternative high street."

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