The Association of Cycle Traders has been asked to provide input to a new Channel 4 series called Reclaiming The High Street, from the producers of The Apprentice and Jamie’s Kitchen, and is seeking nominations from IBDs on which town should host the programme.

IBDs could help Reclaim the High Street in 2006

Reclaiming The High Street is to be a business makeover series which will try to demonstrate that the decline in Britain’s high streets can be halted.

One ailing British high street that is under threat from the opening of a big chain supermarket will be picked and filmed over a number of months.

The tone of the project is positive and proactive and is not an anti-supermarket campaign, said ACT’s Mark Brown.

"The series hopes to demonstrate how small business can coexist with the big chains and how local communities can get involved in making this happen."

The series, from the producers of The Apprentice and Jamie’s Kitchen, will be presented by a high profile retailer with business makeovers based around their recommendations regarding customer service, stock, design, and marketing.

The programme makers are seeking nominations for towns to host the series which meet the majority of the following criteria:

1. To be representative of the wider issues.

2. To be experiencing an immediate threat from a supermarket. Either the supermarket will have recently opened or will just have opened by the time the project starts in December 2005.

3. The town has not begun to address the problems that the supermarket threat has brought into play.

4. There is a diverse range of stores on the high street.

5. The town has some sense of identity – so that there is a sense of what the series is trying to protect with the project. That might be its heritage or it might be because of its geography – i.e. it’s the last market town in Norfolk to get a Tesco.

ACT has been invited to provide input to the programme through its membership of the Independent Retailers Confederation and is asking IBDs for suggestions on which town should host the series.

Send your nominations to

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