Cumbria-based independent retailer Lakeland Leather will appear in parliament next month as part of a select committee investigating how the UK can regenerate its high streets.
Martin Foster, managing director of Lakeland Leather, will give evidence to the housing, communities and local government committee as part of its “high streets and town centres in 2030” inquiry, which is investigating the future of the UK high street.
Foster will appear in front of MPs at the committee on 3 December, representing the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira). Ahead of the event he is appealing to fellow independent retailers to share the trading issues they are facing on their own high streets, so their views can be represented at the select committee.
The committee is investigating the future role of the high street, and how it can contribute to local communities. It is also examining the challenges faced by retailers and other businesses on the high street and the best way to overcome these.
Topics up for discussion at the event include business rates, the impact of online retail and the legacies left by previous government projects
“This is an opportunity for our company to put forward constructive changes for independent retailers – changes we want to see on our future high street,” Foster said. “Being an independent retailer allows us to be agile and quickly adapt to changing local trends. We strive for an enjoyable shopping experience for our customers on the high street and hope to accelerate our community presence in the future.
“The challenge is to make the high street multi-use, to focus on experiences for the local economy and preserve communities and the environment.”
Lakeland Leather has 15 stores across the UK, including in York, Carlisle and Southport. The business won the award for Best Multichannel Retailer – Under £25m Turnover at the Drapers Digital Awards 2018.