Hammersmith & Fulham Council has opened a consultation on bringing empty shops back in to use.
The consultation opens with a public meeting of the Policy and Advisory Committee on Economic Regeneration, Housing and the Arts this month.
“At the moment, too many landlords are leaving shops lying empty while budding retailers need cheap, start-up premises,” says the council’s Local Business Champion, Cllr Ben Coleman. “We want to find new ways of tackling the problem.”
The council says one problem is tracking down absent landlords, while another is getting landlords to let premises on a short-term basis for pop-up shops or other innovative uses.
“The council can’t solve the problem by itself but we want do more than in the past,” adds Cllr Coleman. “We need local people to tell us where we should focus our efforts.”
Some ideas under consideration are a council list of empty shops across the borough, fact sheets detailing the resources available to start-ups looking for a retail unit, and a project to reimagine one high street, looking at all the empty premises and what can be done to encourage a range of uses.