Saturday 17 August 2019 / 7:33 AM Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn announces radical plans to reopen empty shops to ‘revive Britain’s struggling high streets’

Visiting a high street in Bolton today, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, will announce new plans to give councils the power to reopen abandoned shops to “revive Britain’s struggling high streets.” The policy comes as latest figures show that over 10% of town centre shops are empty.

Under Labour’s proposals, Local Authorities will be able to turn “the blight of empty shops into the heart of the high street” by giving them over to start-ups, co-operative businesses and community projects.

Labour’s plans, which would apply to property left vacant for 12 months, would rejuvenate Britain’s high streets by bringing back into use some of the estimated 29,000 physical retail units which have been abandoned for more than 12 months.

This announcement builds on Labour’s five point plan for Britain’s high streets, which includes a register of landlords of empty properties.

Announcing the policy, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“Boarded up shops are a symptom of economic decay under the Conservatives and a sorry symbol of the malign neglect so many communities have suffered.

“Once thriving high streets are becoming ghost streets.

“Labour has a radical plan to revive Britain’s struggling high streets by turning the blight of empty shops into the heart of the high street, with thousands of new businesses and projects getting the chance to fulfil their potential.”

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Andrew Gwynne MP, said:

“Under this Government, our high streets have suffered a retail apocalypse. High street closures are at a historic high, leaving too many of our once thriving towns abandoned and awash with boarded up shop fronts.

“Labour’s radical plan will turn around the mess that the Tories have created and will give local authorities the power to make our high streets the pride of our communities that they once were.”