High streets should be the beating heart of our community. They’re the place we do our weekly shop, pick up prescriptions or grab a coffee. They form the backdrop to our social life, the stage for our community action and the centrepiece of our civic pride.
However, many high streets are struggling. Even before Covid-19, town centres faced many challenges. The past months of lockdowns, uncertainty, reduced footfall and new safety requirements, as well as a financial crash that has squeezed consumer spending, has accelerated this trend. In 2020, British high streets lost more than 17,500 chain store outlets – an average of almost 50 a day.
Shuttered shops are not a new problem – so the solution cannot be a return to the status quo. To unlock the potential of our high streets we cannot simply tinker around the edges. Instead, we need to be radical, putting communities in the driving seat not to save their high streets but to change them completely for the better.
Our Unlock The High Street campaign wants to breathe new life into high streets – not a return to the past’s broken models but an opportunity to support communities to come together and shape the places they call home.
We are calling for:
This “how to” guide” is for councillors and activists seeking not simply to save their high street but to transform it.
Please use this guide, and please tell us about your hard work and successes. We don’t want this to sit on a shelf gathering dust, but to be a living, breathing manifesto for local bottom-up change – and to do that we need your examples to add to the guide and grow this campaign.
We want to work with councils to help high street regeneration across the UK. You can help by adding your name in support of our council motion: we'll then contact your council and encourage them to take the motion forward!
Levelling up cannot become a byword for a Whitehall power grab. Call on the Government to devolve the various Levelling Up funding pots so communities, councils and regions have the ultimate say in how it is spend in their area.
We're gathering data on high streets across the UK, and you can help! Click the button below to download a printable survey which will help us assess you high street. Go for a quick walk, take photos of what you see, and send us the results!
We’re keen to help you raise the profile and the challenges that your high street face in your local press. We’ve drafted some letters for you to send to your local paper. This will probably need tailoring to suit your local situation and to take into account devolved arrangements but there provide a good starting point for you..
We want people in every community to get involved in our High Streets campaign. Will you tweet our hashtag and encourage people to get involved?.
The best way to help transform your high street is to do it with your neighbours and friends. Share this page to your local WhatsApp groups to get the conversation started about your high street!
Promoted by Joe Fortune on behalf of the Co-operative Party, both at Unit 13, 83 Crampton Street, London, SE17 3BQ, United Kingdom.Co-operative Party Limited is a registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. Registered no. 30027R