Business in Community Announces

Business in the Community announces the first 29 high streets to receive support from Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander

The charity Business in the Community (BITC) today announced the first 29 of the 100 towns across the UK that will be supported by big businesses through its new initiative to transform UK high streets.

The BITC initiative; Healthy High Streets, seeks to create 3,000 jobs, increase footfall by 10% and reduce empty property units by 20% over a three year period in selected towns across the UK - through dedicated support from founding partners Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander.

The towns, town teams and the businesses that will be providing a High Street Champion per area are:
1.    Altrincham - Altrincham Forward Town Centre Team – Marks & Spencer
2.    Beeston – Beeston BID Company Limited, Nottingham - Santander
3.    Bradford – Bradford Council City Centre Team – Marks & Spencer
4.    Broadmead (Bristol) – Broadmead Bristol Business Improvement district – Marks & Spencer
5.    Chester – CH1 Chester Business Improvement District - Boots UK
6.    Dunfermline  – Dunfermline Delivers Business Improvement District –Boots UK
7.    Elgin – City of Elgin Business Improvement District Limited – The Co-operative Group
8.    Erdington – Erdington Town Centre Partnership - Santander
9.    Great Yarmouth – Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership- Santander
10.    Helston – Helston Business Improvement Partnership - Santander
11.    Hull – Hull Business Improvement District - Boots UK
12.    Inverness – Inverness Business Improvement District - Santander
13.    Keighley – Keighley Town Centre Association – Boots UK
14.    Kettering – Kettering Town Team – The Co-operative Group
15.    Lincoln – Lincoln Business Improvement Group – Boots UK
16.    Liskeard – Liskeard Town Centre Partnership - The Co-operative Group
17.    Loughborough – The Love Loughborough Partnership – Marks & Spencer
18.    Lowestoft – Lowestoft Vision – Marks & Spencer
19.    Maidenhead – Maidenhead Town Partnership – The Co-operative Group
20.    Mansfield – Mansfield Town Team Partnership – Boots UK
21.    Minehead – Minehead Vision Group – The Co-operative Group
22.    Ormskirk - Love Ormskirk Town Team – Marks & Spencer
23.    Penzance - Penzance Business Improvement District Development Steering Group – The Co-operative Group
24.    Plymouth – Plymouth City Centre Company – Boots UK
25.    Scarborough – Scarborough Town Centre Partnership- Boots UK
26.    Stockport – Stockport Town Centre Business & Retail Forum- Marks & Spencer
27.    Stockton-on-Tees - Town Team Stockton – Marks & Spencer
28.    Weston-super-Mare – Weston-super-Mare Town Centre Partnership Company Ltd- Santander
29.    Wisbech – Wisbech 2020 Vision – The Co-operative Group


High streets Minister Brandon Lewis said “It’s great to see some of the biggest names in British retail like Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander using their business expertise and local knowledge to help others on the high street attract more shoppers.”

Jane Pritchard, enterprise director, Business in the Community said “We’re delighted with the enthusiastic response from high streets to our campaign and we were truly impressed with the quality of the applications.  Now we have selected our first group of towns we are really looking forward to getting down to the real work of the campaign and demonstrating how, with corporate support, we can revitalise Britain’s high streets.”

The campaign is focused on towns that demonstrate a need for the support, have potential for growth, have an established or emerging partnership to improve the town and are served by the businesses involved in the campaign.  

The chosen towns will now receive:

  • A bespoke package of support tailored to the exact needs of the High Street
  • Access and engagement with corporate business leaders personally and professionally interested in the High Street
  • A local corporate business leader linked with the local partnership team to support the vision for the High Street
  • Resources from campaign partner organisations - such as Business Improvement Districts (with British BIDs) and the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC)

These new partnerships with business will help towns to drive footfall, occupy vacant properties and ultimately create jobs.

Between them the founding partners of Healthy High Streets have a presence in over 9,000 stores and branches in towns across the UK. To increase the impact of the campaign beyond the 100 chosen towns, the founding businesses have each committed to spread the knowledge and best practice from their work on the campaign throughout their store and branch locations across the UK.

Business in the Community will also work with the Department of Community and Local Government’s (DCLG) Future High Streets Forum and the Prince’s Foundation for Building in the Community to deliver the campaign.

Notes to Editors:
For more information about Business in the Community or the Healthy High Streets Campaign contact Ochuko Adekoya, Head of Media, Business in the Community on 0207 566 8758 or ochuko.adekoya@bitc.org.uk  OR Cassia Weaver, Development Manager, Business in the Community  07803 027 989 or  cassia.weaver@bitc.org.uk


About Healthy High Streets:
The Healthy High Streets Campaign is designed to enable businesses to collaborate and bring their combined skills and expertise together to support high streets in need, over a minimum of three years.  Built around the needs of the area, the Healthy High Streets Campaign uses a systematic framework to support businesses, local authorities and local communities to work together with impact.  

The campaign seeks to create 3000 jobs, increase footfall by 10% and reduced empty property units by 20% over the three year period in the 100 selected towns.

The campaign business partners are committed to implement lessons from the campaign in all of their store and branch locations across the UK.

The Healthy High Streets campaign is being delivered by Business in the Community in partnership with Founding Partners Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander, and other partners including the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC), British BIDS, the Department of Community and Local Government’s (DCLG) Future High Streets Forum and the Prince’s Foundation for Building in the Community.

The 2011 Portas Review led to a pilot project to test out the recommendations of the report recommendations in 27 towns in England. BITC and BITC member businesses provided High Street Champions to support the Portas pilot towns, and the Healthy High streets campaign builds on our learnings from this pilot.

www.bitc.org.uk/healthyhighstreets

About Business in the Community
Business in the Community is a business-led charity committed to shaping a new contract between business and society.

We have over 30 years experience forging better relationships between business and society, driven by a unique collaboration of business leaders. We stimulate action by challenging and supporting thousands of businesses to create a fairer society and a more sustainable future - through our local, national and international campaigns.

Business in the Community is one of The Prince’s Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which The Prince of Wales is president. www.bitc.org.uk