Authorities to be granted high street rental auction powers this summer

15th May 2024 | Jack Oliver

Local authorities are set to be granted powers to auction off empty high street properties by this summer, the government has announced.

Under the new powers, local leaders will be able to auction off a rental lease for up to five years for commercial properties which have lain empty for at over 12 months.

These auctions will take place with no reserve price, which the government says will give local businesses and community groups the opportunity to occupy space at a competitive rate.

The government will also launch a new ‘trailblazer’ programme to work with a number of communities which have expressed a desire to lead the way in implementing the new powers. A £2m support pot will be set aside for a support pot to help those and other communities to get started.

The proposals were criticised last year by pressure group Campaign for Pubs, which said high street rental auctions “pose a serious threat” to pubs.

Jacob Young, minister for Levelling Up, said: “We want to bring high streets back to life and these new levelling up powers will help do just that.

“A lively high street brings an irreplaceable community spirit – one that is unique to its own area – along with new jobs and opportunities for local people.

“These new powers will enable local communities to take back control, backed by over £15 billion of levelling up funding which is transforming towns and left-behind communities across the UK.”


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