Supporting our Local High Streets

Under Labour, Wales has the greatest high street vacancy rate in the UK. Too many Welsh high streets are blighted by boarded-up and vacant shops. Shoppers are turning away from the high street to out-of- town shopping centres and online retailers, damaging local communities and hurting shopkeepers.


Matt Smith will work with communities to revitalise the Welsh high street making it a more attractive place to live, shop and socialise, by bringing empty premises back into use, slashing business taxes and improving access.


Matt supports Welsh Conservative plans to:


  • Ensure businesses with a rateable value up to £12,000 pay no business rates, and provide tapered relief up to £15,000;


  • Split the Welsh business rate multiplier, giving high street shops a fairer deal;


  • Promote free town centre parking and the benefits of a responsible night time economy;


  • Highlight the role of town centre managers in improving the high street experience;


  • Stimulate inclusive, community-led regeneration ideas;


  • Create a Welsh High Street Charter, helping local authorities to share best practice.