The Welsh government has been called on to develop a national strategy to revitalise flagging high streets.

Following an investigation into the the state of Welsh high streets, the Welsh Assembly cross-party enterprise and business committee has set out a range of recommendations that it believes will save town centres.

The 21 recommendations include discretionary powers for local authorities over business rates, assistance for new businesses when setting up, and obligatory local retail impact assessments for all future supermarket proposals.

Committee chairman Nick Ramsey said there were many examples of “weak and vulnerable high streets, blighted by empty premises and poor shopping environments” that needed comprehensive plans with input from local stakeholders.

The Welsh branch of the Federation of Small Businesses welcomed the proposals and urged the Assembly to act on them. “We now want concerted action from the Welsh government,” said Welsh policy unit chairwoman Janet Jones.