The continued lack of robust and consistent floorspace, employment and turnover statistics to allow comparisons between places and for different times is a ongoing matter of concern.

NRPF was involved in the Town Centres Statistics project commissioned by DCLG and its predecessors which produced comparable and consistent statistics for over 1000 towns in England & Wales around the turn of the millenium. This became part of the now discontinued State of the Cities database.

More recently the Valuation Office has produced experimental floorspace statistics at Local Authority level covering the years 2000-2012.

NRPF members the British Council for Shopping Centres have been working with Geofutures to examine ways to update the Town Centres Statistics methodology to produce more timely and flexible outputs.

The Forum is also investigating other ways to monitor the effectiveness of Town Centres and Retail Planning Policy, while continuing to lobby for better central statistical provision.