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Town Centres

The Issue

From changing shopping and working habits to cheap parking out of town, our town centres have struggled to adapt despite the hard work of small businesses. Although new initiatives are beginning to breathe new life into many areas, we need bold, sustained action to support new uses for our town centres, encourage more entrepreneurs in local areas and encourage the public to shop local.

Actions FSB has taken

  • Pushed governments and councils to reduce the cost of doing business in town centres by urging reform of business rates and parking charges.
  • Run successive campaigns to highlight the value of supporting local businesses.
  • Contributed to reviews about town centre strategies across the UK.

Our Goal

With many small businesses based in town centres and acting as an anchor for local economies, we want to ensure a long-term, viable future for our high streets.

Achievements in...



  • We campaigned against public sector bodies and banks closing down premises in town centres across Scotland.

  • We argued for the Scottish Government to financially punish public sector bodies that move their offices out of town.

  • We have called for a simpler planning and regulatory regime for businesses in town centres, with a pilot project now underway.

  • The FSB in Scotland led calls for the introduction of the Small Business Bonus Scheme, which provides 100% rates relief for many of the smallest businesses in Scotland.

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