Mary Portas has said she believes that markets could help flailing high streets compete with out-of-town shopping centres, according to information revealed prior to the release of her official high-street report.
Earlier this year the retail-guru was asked to advise the government in issues such as how to address the problem of vacant shops, prevent the proliferation of ‘clone towns’, and increase the number of small and independent retailers doing business in local town centres.
Prime minister David Cameron will present the full results of the TV presenter’s report this week, which is expected to include Portas’ view that: "On a market stall people can try out their ideas and get their business booming without too much cost. It’s great for our town centres too, bringing in fresh ideas and products and preserving our nation’s cultural heritage."
Portas has also expressed the need for a stronger "town centre first" policy, which will restrict businesses on choosing out-of-town sites to set up if high-street spaces are available, under new planning restrictions.
This weekend The Sunday Telegraph published some of the issues that Portas wanted addressing in 2012, including axing regulations and restrictions on night-time deliveries and noise, a possible new tax on car parks currently provided for free at out-of-town shopping centres and plans for a National Market Day.