The Distressed Retail Property Taskforce aims to find ways to rejuvenate failing town centres.

Senior figures from across the banking, retail and property sectors have signed up to a new industry-wide group. Other members include the British Council of Shopping Centres, the British Property Federation and the Local Government Association. Lloyds Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland are also represented, along with the Booksellers Association.

The central aim of the group is to combat the problem of retail property indebtedness across the UK.

The Taskforce will spend the first six months gathering evidence on the scale of the problem and identifying the worst hit towns with the aim to provide infrastructure programmes which would safeguard towns for the future.

The creation of the Distressed Retail Property Taskforce comes after recent statistics showed that an average of 14.6% of shops now remain empty across Britain.

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