Britain’s high streets can thrive again – if we look past shops | Andrew Carter

When even Marks & Spencer is in trouble, it’s time to reimagine city centres as places where people live, learn and relax

It seems there’s barely a brand that’s immune from the malaise hanging over the British high street. Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser now look to be in serious trouble. Take a walk through the heart of many towns and cities up and down the country, and you’ll encounter a bleak vista: the all-too-familiar array of pound shops, bookies and boarded-up vacant lots. And things aren’t likely to pick up anytime soon, with the high street recently seeing the biggest year-on-year drop in footfall for nearly a decade.

Related: Shoppers desert UK high streets, putting more jobs at risk

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