British Retail — [Sir Alan Meale in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 6th March 2013.

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Photo of Paul Uppal Paul Uppal Conservative, Wolverhampton South West 2:30 pm, 6th March 2013

I declare an interest. Like my hon. Friend, I worked in the sector for about 20 years, either as a landlord or a tenant, and I echo his sentiments. The vital issue with retail space, in particular in city centres, is utilising the upper parts: residential conversion is crucial. For far too long, we have been obsessed with the ground-floor unit, almost dismissing the upper part. In continental Europe or other areas, people utilise the upstairs, which provides an alternative use.