Thirty-three towns have joined Business in the Community’s Healthy High Streets programme, a scheme designed to help businesses “thrive”.

Backed by big-name brands including Boots and Marks & Spencer, the scheme aims to increase footfall by 10%, reduce empty properties by 20% and stimulate new job creation in 100 towns over three years.

“Participating towns receive a bespoke support package, which includes access to skills and expertise as well as a dedicated champion from one of the supporting businesses,” said Peter Donohoe, project lead.

The towns also have a dedicated local partnership team, which works with local partners and authorities to devise an action plan that addresses the town’s challenges.

“The result of creating a more vibrant town centre is that all businesses will thrive, and new and existing businesses are more likely to invest,” Donohoe said.

“My advice to independent retailers is to collaborate. We’re all stronger together – it’s important to get involved with the community.”

In its first year, Healthy High Streets brought support and resources worth £17m into 33 UK high streets.

A full list of the towns participating in the programme can be found here.