The CBI and EC Harris have unveiled a package of measures for the public and private sectors to work together to unlock local growth, overhaul business rates and rejuvenate the UK’s towns and cities.

In a new report, developed with leading built asset consultants EC Harris, the CBI is calling for strong local leadership to work with businesses and the Government to deliver new homes, modern offices, good transport links and thriving high streets.

The next regeneration: unlocking local growth outlines a blueprint for regeneration. Among the measures it calls for are: a one-year business rates holiday for firms moving into empty property; planning changes to make it easier to convert empty shops into homes and for cafés and restaurants to introduce temporary outside seating; and using the public sector balance sheet to kick-start investment in building projects.

The report also highlights the need for more joined-up strategic local leadership and more proactive planning allied with early private sector engagement.

With one in seven shops on the high street now lying empty, proper planning and a strategic vision is essential to securing the future success of our evolving high street and in tough financial times, public money, land and property must be leveraged with private sector investment to kick start projects.

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