The report includes a number of proposals advocated by Scotland's Towns Partnership to help breathe new life into town centres.
1. A 'Town Centre First' principle where public bodies will look at how they can support town centres before considering development else where.
2. Working with housing providers to bring empty town centre properties back into use as affordable housing.
3. A town centre focus to review current business rates' incentivisation schemes.
4. Recommendation that public bodies should consider the impact of proposals to relocate services to out of town centres.
5. Broadening the appeal of town centres with a mix of leisure, public facilities and homes.
Leading Scottish architect Malcolm Fraser chaired the Review, which included an independent panel of experts from a range of organisations. The Scottish Government is considering its response to the report which will be published at the end of Summer 2013.
Chris Wade, Chief Executive, Action for Market Towns said
"Compared to the Portas Review in England, it is fascinating to see the emphasis in this Scottish review on the broader role of town centres for leisure, business start-up and community use alongside retail. The report extends the principle of putting town-centres-first to include public services as well as retail investments. We will be working with our Partners at the Scotland's Towns Partnership to positively influence and support the Government's response beginning with our joint town benchmarking work to help communities to understand the wider role and importance of their town centres and plan for the future."
The key themes highlighted throughout the Review will be the focus of this year's Scotland's Towns Annual Conference to be held on 22 November at the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, as part of Scotland's Towns Week (18 - 24 November). To participate in the Scotland's Towns Week and the Annual Conference, please contact Elaine Bone
The National Review of Town Centres Report is now available to view here