Healthy high streets
A large contribution to UK PLC is though consumer spending in our shops, so retailers Boots, Starbucks and ASDA are among others working together to keep our high streets 'healthy'.
Research from the charity, BITC (Business in the Community) backed by Prince Charles, has shown that if store managers learn to engage with their communities this leads to sustainable high streets.
Successful city centres, the research claims, have strong business-led partnerships and locally active store managers. John Lewis, for example, has set up a training scheme for its employees, teaching them how to engage with political stakeholders - MPs and council leaders - and to understand local government structures.
BITC states that so far, the charity's work has made a real difference with increasing footfall, reducing vacant units and creating jobs.
We will be expanding on this research in our Future Cities Forum debate on retail regeneration and innovation on 28th September 2016.