High Street Task Force - Call for Evidence

Closed 6 Dec 2021

Opened 25 Oct 2021


Our high streets are changing. The way in which we work, live, shop, access services, enjoy leisure and travel is continually changing and moving away from the traditional high street experience. This change has been and continues to be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail trends, the prevailing economic mood and the broader business landscape create an uncertain backdrop. Businesses, sectors, employees and communities have experienced an unprecedented impact which continues to affect our high streets and beyond.

The Executive Office formed the High Street Task Force (HSTF) with a view to identify the challenges and issues that our high streets face, and to oversee the development of solutions and actions that can be taken to support our high streets with the strategic aim to contribute to the development of thriving and sustainable city, town and village centres.

The HSTF vision is: “Sustainable city, town and village centres which are thriving places for people to do business, socialise, shop, be creative and use public services as well as being great places to live.” It will require everyone working together and the broadest possible buy-in from those who live and use our high streets. It will need partnership and a focus on delivery, and it will very much be a long-term project. Transformation will not happen overnight and significant work has already been undertaken in getting us to this point.

The 14 themes listed in this Call for Evidence provide an overview of the issues that our high streets currently face. The key considerations and issues have been listed in bullet form to show the initial thoughts gathered so far. It is intended that these will set the scene for further ideas to be gathered through the Call for Evidence.

The High Street Task Force would like to thank you in advance for your responses. The findings from this Call for Evidence, together with other data, will inform a draft report and recommendations that will be subject to full public consultation and equality considerations before a final report is presented for agreement by the Executive, by Spring 2022. 

The full Call for Evidence document produced by the High Street Task Force is available on the Executive Office website, which can be accessed by clicking here.


  • All stakeholders
  • Citizens
  • Business
  • DFC Staff


  • Policy Development
  • NI