Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
High Street Perfect Day makes debut
High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP is in Altrincham, Greater Manchester today (17 May 2019) to join Sir John Timpson CBE for the launch of the National High Street Perfect Day pilot.
Local businesses, schools, voluntary groups and Trafford council will all descend on the high street to take part in litter picks, while local schools will be working with the Keep Britain Tidy Eco Schools programme to learn more about protecting the environment.
But it’s more than just looking good – participating businesses are also reviewing their customer service offer, including the offer of support to spring clean their social media.
The occasion is also being marked with the town’s first ‘High Street Festival’. Altrincham high street was named Best High Street in England at last year’s Great British High Streets Awards.
High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said:
Our high streets are at the centre of our communities and this government is determined to ensure they are fit for the future and adapting to the rapid change in consumer behaviour.
The first ever National Perfect Day represents a fantastic opportunity for communities to get together in partnership with local businesses and ensure our high streets are places that can gleam with pride.
In Altrincham, the local community has done a brilliant job in transforming the town centre into the success it is today and there could be no better place to launch the campaign than on England’s champion high street.
The Day was first suggested in Sir John Timpson’s The High Street Report, compiled by retail industry experts, and called for a community-led approach towards supporting high streets, including one day in the year when every town centre looks the best it possibly can.
Sir John Timpson CBE, Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel on High Streets, and Chairman of retail services company Timpson, said:
Altrincham is where I served my first customer, and that’s one of the reasons I proposed it as the pilot town for the ‘National High Street Perfect Day’. It’s a town where the partnerships are working really hard in a challenging national high street environment to buck the trend.
The ‘Perfect Day’ concept is one which we use in my shops throughout the country and it has worked for us for years. On one day each year, in every part of the business, the whole team get involved to make sure they shine on the day! Scaling it up to a whole town centre is an exciting proposition and I look forward to seeing the results in Altrincham.
This is a particularly challenging time for many retailers, confronted by rapidly changing consumer demand and the rise of online spending.
Recognising this, the government has stepped up, putting a plan for the high street at the centre of the Budget and is taking action to ensure that local high streets are able to adapt and thrive for generations to come.
Ways the government is backing the high street
The Budget saw business rates relief cut small retailers’ bills by a third, building on over £13 billion of business rates support since 2016.
In response to recommendations from the independent expert panel, the government has recently launched a £675 million Future High Streets Fundto help improve infrastructure and access to high streets, put historic buildings back to use and make town centres fit for the future.
We have also announced a Town Centre Task Force to give local leaders expert advice and support in implementing their plans to revitalise their local high streets
The Open Doors scheme will see empty shops being opened up to community groups offering services to the most vulnerable in our communities.
We have published a planning consultation to help support change on the high street. This will aim to make it easier for high streets to adapt for the future, with a wider range of retail, residential and other uses.
We are empowering businesses to contribute to the success of their high street by providing loans to establish Business Improvement Districts across the country.
The Great British High Street Awards, which will return soon is a hotly contested competition to find Britain’s best high street, and the huge response to last year’s competition highlighted retailers and community groups across the country working in innovative ways keep town centres vibrant and strong.
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