Corporate News

Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister

Distressed Retail Property Taskforce – Beyond Retail

When you instigated an urgent review of the High Street in May 2011, you talked about the importance of High Streets as the very heart of every community; bringing people together, providing essential services and creating jobs and investment. 

We share your passion for creating thriving towns and cities that are fit for purpose for the future needs of consumers and businesses. One of Mary’s key recommendations, as you know, was for the establishment of an Industry Taskforce to address the property related issues surrounding our Town Centres. I was grateful that Grant Shapps accepted this suggestion, and I was subsequently pleased to accept the invitation to chair the Taskforce.

The Taskforce brought together for the first time organisations representing Retailers, Property Lenders, Investors, Developers, Local Authority Estates as well as key individual companies. We were also fortunate to receive input from Government Departments including BIS, DCLG and HMT, along with the Local Government Association who as observers, both challenged us and provided insight into the process.

Following extensive research, consultation, analysis and plenty of debate we launched our report (attached) in consultation with your Government, last Friday. The recommendations are unanimous.

Recognising your interest in this subject, illustrated by the leadership role that you took in launching Mary’s review, and that both the issues and recommendations cut across many different Government Departments, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you, or colleagues in Number 10, to discuss the report recommendations and next steps further.  


Mark Williams

Chairman of the Distressed Retail Property Taskforce

To download a copy of ‘Beyond Retail: Redefining the shape and purpose of town centres’, please click here.