Towns ‘should learn from Malton success’

Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake.
Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake.

Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake has congratulated Malton for its contribution to an important select committee report on the future of high streets and town centres.

At the suggestion of Mr Hollinrake, Malton Estate was invited to give evidence and share its best practices before the Housing Communities and Local Government Select Committee, upon which the MP serves.

The committee report concluded that wide reforms are needed to secure a thriving future for high streets and town centres in face of changing consumer behaviour and that an unfair business rates system is tipping the balance in favour of online retailers.

Mr Hollinrake said “The troubles on the high street are principally caused by changes in consumer behaviour with 20% of sales now made online. However, there are measures that can and should be taken to ease the pain.

“Malton is an excellent example of how landlords and retailers can work together to attract footfall to the town through a combination of its strong brand identity as the Food Capital of Yorkshire and two hours free parking in town centre car parks.

“I am grateful to Malton Estate for bringing its expertise before the Committee.

“It is clear that the Committee has taken into account the evidence presented by Roddy Bushell from Malton Estate which showed that it is possible, by way of significant investment, free parking, marketing and special events, such as the Malton Food festival, to attract thousands of visitors every year to keep a town alive and thriving.

“The fact is that high streets are changing and we need to work together to adapt to that change.

“This means that local authorities need to set out a long-term strategy for their town centres by finding new ways to use buildings and encourage independent retailers, as they have done in Malton.”