The Future High Street Summit attracted the attention of local authorities

Town centre managers need to more to support indie retailers

UK organisations and town centre stakeholders should come together and do more to support local independent PC stores, says BIRA.

Michael Weedon, deputy CEO of the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) stressed at the Future High Street Summit last week that town centre managers need to do all they can to continue supporting the smaller retailers that have kept the High Street alive.

He also told local authorities that they need to recognise that the indie retail sector has been experiencing growth over the last five years, filling the voids left by the closure of larger chain stores.

The restructured Independent Retail Campaign was launched at the summit, which allows local authorities, councils, town teams, BIDs and groups of retailers to buy a ‘support for independent retail campaign’ license.

The campaign was well received, and gained attention from authorities who expressed their interest in joining the nationwide efforts to raise awareness of smaller businesses.

Clare Rayner, founder of the Summit said: “The future depends on the people who are invested in their place, who share a common vision and a strong sense of civic pride.

“We also heard how great leadership is essential to effecting that change, to supporting those who find the process uncomfortable, and to achieving the transformation required. 

“Strategy and vision need to match a town’s personality and towns should also celebrate their heritage – as one speaker pointed out, what happened in history influences what will happen in the future!”

In other news, VIP Computers will be displaying its support for PC indies with a number of special retail incentives at this year’s PCR Boot Camp.

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