Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine John Waddell is calling on the Scottish and UK ministers to take radical new steps to protect high street retail in rural communities, by promoting shared business hubs for vital services.
The Office of National Statistics has produced new figures showing that the number of high street retail jobs fell in Scotland fell by 8.6% between 2012 and 2017. Marking a decline in both the number of people visiting town centres and an increase in online sales.
Mr Waddell said: “High street decline is nothing new but the change in many rural towns over the past two or three years has been stark. The loss of businesses that usually form the core of vibrant town centres, such as banks and post offices, could be the tipping point for many communities.
“We need a radical new way of looking at how our high streets work. More and more it is about essential services and facilities that can’t be offered online. The Liberal Democrat idea to promote shared business hubs will give customers the chance to get all their services from one building. Bringing people back to the high street.”
Notes for editors:
- Find the ONS report (06/06) here.