London, Oxford Street
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The government has announced it is introducing a new register for retail landlords in an attempt to support the country’s high street retail sector.
Jane Imrie

Government to boost UK high streets with new retail landlord register

The government has announced it is introducing a new register for retail landlords in an attempt to support the country’s high street retail sector.

It said that the register would enable prospective tenants to check the ownership on empty buildings, accelerating the letting process and allowing vacant units to be filled more quickly.

The register will be piloted in individual local authorities before being rolled out nationally if successful, and follows the government’s attempts to attract investors to the high street by offering relief on business rates.

The news comes after the steady decline of the UK’s high streets over the past few years, with 2019 so far seeing the collapse of retail businesses like Debenhams and Select.

In addition to the register, high street minister Jake Berry said the government was “working to enhance powers of local authorities to proceed with compulsory purchase orders to end fragmented ownership”, which real estate body The British Property Federation claimed can be a “significant deterrent to long-term institutional investors”.

The British Property Federation’s chief executive, Melanie Leech, commented: “Strong leadership and a genuine commitment to a shared agenda will be needed to overcome it.”

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