Plans to revive high streets across the UK have been unveiled on the back of a report by TV retail guru Mary Portas.
The government is to cut red tape to make it easier for business people to move into empty premises and open so-called pop-up shops.
Retailers will now have up to two years to apply for planning permission instead of having to do so immediately.
Twelve English towns, known as Portas’ Pilots, were awarded a share of £1.2 million from the government to rejuvenate their shopping areas.
The towns will test ideas proposed by Portas in her high street review.
Communities minister Grant Shapps said the initiative had “captured the imagination of the nation with communities across the country uniting to support their high streets”.
But critics say high levels of rent and rates are a more serious hurdle than paperwork for new shopkeepers.
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