How changing the use of Commercial Property and introducing Multi-Occupancy could positively change our high street

The commercial property landscape is currently undergoing a severe change as the demand for outer region warehousing over central high street retail bricks and mortar, seems to be beginning to tip the balance in property type and use.

For many years, UK high streets have provided a hub of liveliness where independently owned shops and larger corporate commercial businesses have come together to attract customers to their premises.  The hustle and bustle of shoppers buying clothing, home-ware, food, beauty products, electrical items, toys and so much more, has not only supplied a service but has also given the opportunity to meet friends and enable communities to thrive, which in turn has attracted investment to central areas of towns and cities across the UK.

However, unfortunately since the introduction and rapid development online shopping this has changed the way consumers are making their buying decisions and has decreased the need for consumers to physically visit a premises to buy an item. The choice of shopping day or night on the internet and from the comfort of their own home has led to high street decline as more and more websites offer a great choice in purchase, delivery and discounts.

To counteract this, there has been a growing number of campaigns running to encourage consumers back to the high street with the realisation that it is everybody’s responsibility including the development and planning of our towns and cities for their future sustainability.

Whereas once there was a time when retail development would be concentrated to the centre of a town or city and living housing accommodation would be developed around the perimeter. It is now hoped that by integrating the two and encouraging houses back into the towns, that it bring a more positive outcome.  By doing so, it will reduce empty properties, enable streets to become safe to walk around, encourage city dwellers to shop local, meet friends and socialize, reduce transport which is great for the environment.

Options that a currently being investigated include:

  • Providing student accommodation in the centre of towns and cities
  • Converting smaller redundant independent shops to houses
  • Converting empty larger retail shops into hotels
  • Re-developing empty larger retail premises into private multi-occupancy rentals

Do you own commercial property? JRW Risk Solutions arrange commercial property insurance for premises owners across many sectors. From warehousing and retail to multi-occupancy including student and privately owned commercial accommodation, JRW Risk Solutions supply both buildings insurance and contents insurance cover.

For further details on property insurance, please see our property insurance website page or to find out more about landlords of multi-occupancy, please see the website –

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