10 December 2013

The National Hairdressers’ Federation has been invited by the government to join its Future High Streets Forum.

The move puts hairdressing and barbering – and small, independent retailers – right at the heart of the government’s drive to develop innovative solutions to regenerate and revitalise Britain’s high streets.

It is also recognition of the growing importance of hairdressing and barbering in keeping many local high streets alive and vibrant, and the depth of knowledge and experience salon owners can bring to bear as a result.

The forum was set up last February to examine ways to implement high street renewal in the wake of the government’s response to retail entrepreneur Mary Portas’ review of the high street.

It comprises retailers, business and property groups, councils and the government and meets quarterly. It is led by high streets minister Brandon Lewis.

Mr Lewis explained his reasoning for inviting the NHBF was to broaden the forum’s membership to ensure it better represented the views of service industries and to bring on board an organisation that “is a key representative of a sector with a growing presence in our town centres”.

Hilary Hall, chief executive of the National Hairdressers’ Federation, said:

“We are delighted we have been asked to join the Future High Streets Forum. The NHBF represents 6,000 of the UK’s top hairdressers and barbers, the vast majority of them running small and micro salons. Our members are right at the heart of every high street and, as such, can offer a deep insight into what it is local high streets and local communities need.Hairdressers are also passionate about service and customer experience, something the Mary Portas report highlighted as being at the core of the regeneration of the high street. Hairdressers are innovative, adaptable and creative, and we look forward to contributing to the important work being carried out by the forum."

The move by the government follows initiatives to ease the burden of business rates announced last week by chancellor George Osborne in the Autumn Statement and a package of measures by communities secretary Eric Pickles to support UK high streets.

For press enquiries please contact: Hilary Hall Hilary.hall@nhf.info 01234 834380