Wilko: Insolvency

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 21 September 2023.

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Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to minimise the loss of economic activity on high streets after the closure of Wilko.

Photo of Jacob Young Jacob Young Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The Government recognises the pressures faced by high street businesses, announcing in the Autumn Statement 2022 a package of changes to business rates worth £13.6 billion over the next 5 years in lower bills. This is in addition to the Energy Bills Discount Scheme.

The Department for Business and Trade are working with the Retail Sector Council on the strategic issues facing the sector, including costs to businesses, the importance of place and the high street, and consumer protections. The process of administration has yet to conclude, and we understand that consideration is being given to interest from potential purchasers for some of the Wilko stores. Physical retail remains a key part of the high street and a thriving high street will need a strong retail offering. Government is clear that we want all types of retail to thrive now and in the future.

We continue to work with local leaders to support town centre regeneration, including in Southport, which was awarded £37.5 million through our Town’s Fund and a further £20 million to support the repurposing of the Strand Shopping Centre and the wider transformation of Bootle Town Centre.

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