As the BBC’s Panorama highlighted last night, town centres must adapt if we are going to stem the tide of empty retail units. Every town is different, and needs to find its own strengths and vision - whilst recognising that the focus does not always have to be retail. Over the coming years I think we are going to see increased diversification, more residential use, and collaboration. 

As the programme mentioned, in the 1980s and 1990s, we became rather fixated on retail uses, meaning that town centres lost their individuality and chain stores took over. Now, perhaps the balance of power is shifting, and we will see a return to more distinctive town centres.