What happens to local authority business rates income when out-of-town retail parks compete with town centres?
This evidence of out of town impact was missing, so we undertook the analysis using Valuation Office Agency data, and our own nationally consistent town centre boundaries originally developed for DCLG.
The study period 2005-2010 examined the impact of steep recession, during which high streets and malls alike suffered. Rateable values are a proxy for business performance, but still a significant relationship was identified between town centre performance and the proximity of out of town retail.
Busines and policymakers alike rely on academic analysis to identify the impact of strategic location decisions. Often this requires the combination of several spatially defined datasets and the methods used have to produce results robust enough to rely on.