A recommendation to tax out of town retail developments to generate subsidies to ensure the survival of the traditional high street has been welcomed by the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF).
The controversial recommendation was published in a report The Right to Retail – Can localism save Britain’s small retailers, by Adam Schoenborn, Senior Researcher at ResPublica, who argues that the UK Government must do more to rebalance the retail economy away from the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets, which control nearly 80 per cent of the UK’s £150 billion pound grocery market.
Commenting John Drummond of SGF said, “I welcome this report and hope a new Scottish Government will give careful consideration to the recommendations.
“Our town centres are under threat from out of town centres. SGF believes a town centre first focus is essential. Included within the SGF Local Shop Manifesto we recommend increasing non -domestic rates for out of town developments with a consequent redistribution of the revenue raised to encourage vibrant and viable town centres.
“Town centres are under threat across Scotland. If we want to protect local shops and reverse the growth of ghost towns in Scotland, a radical new approach to town centre development is the only option.”