The government scheme overseen by retail expert Mary Portas to save British high streets has descended into farce, according to trade magazine The Grocer.

Portas was appointed as David Cameron’s high street tsar in 2011, in a bid to revitalise British stores suffering under the economic recession and online shopping boom.

The pilot scheme was to divide £1.25 million among 12 towns to enable Portas’s suggestions to be put into practice. An additional 370 towns were due to receive £10,000 each.

But not enough of the proposed funds have reached retailers, meaning Portas’s proposals have not been given enough of a chance to succeed, and causing officials to postpone the first official report for the scheme.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government refutes the claims, asserting that the scheme is implementing “long term projects”, necessitating staggered spending.

‘This includes getting empty shops back into use as pop up shops and student cafes, creating discount schemes and loyalty cards for high streets and working with local universities and bus companies to bring students back into the town centre,” said the spokesman.

The scheme finds Portas functioning as a government consultant. Find out how you could become a management consultant.

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