Following detailed submissions from a range of organisations the industry-led Distressed Retail Property Taskforce has today announced the research partner selected to support its work. Leading global real estate advisory organisation Colliers International will work with the industry experts to undertake an analysis to identify the property-related barriers to vibrant town centres.
Government supported the establishment of this taskforce last year in response to the Mary Portas’ review of the UK's high streets. Chaired by leading retail property trade body, British Council of Shopping Centres, it brings together the public and private sectors, with experts from banking, retail, local government and the property industry.
Now instructed, Colliers International will begin a process of thoroughly assessing towns and cities that are in “distress”, examining the property-related issues affecting these locations and whether themes are evident across the country that could be acted upon to pave the way for regenerative change.
The findings will be assessed by the cross-sector taskforce, to identify real and workable solutions to issues relating to property investment, management and development, which are widely considered major issues affecting local town centres.

Mark Williams, Chairman, Distressed Retail Property Taskforce and partner at asset managers, Hark Group, commented:
“We were delighted with the level of interest and range of proposals put forward, which illustrates how important this area is seen by the wider industry. We were however unanimous in our decision to select Colliers and welcome them on board to support this important, and unprecedented, assessment of UK town centres.”

Mark Charlton, Head of Research and Forecasting, Colliers International added:

“We will be looking at the root causes of town centre distress and working with the taskforce to address them.  A primary objective of the research will be  to identify a range of robust solutions to assist in the repositioning of town centres to enable them to operate successfully within the new retail hierarchy.”