Town centres need to focus more on the night-time economy to revive their fortunes, according to the organisation appointed to support struggling high streets over the next two years.

The Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) has been tasked by the government to provide a £1m support package for the 27 Portas Pilots and 330 town teams across the country.

ATCM chief executive Martin Blackwell said there were “huge gaps” in Mary Portas’ high street review. “She didn’t understand the importance of the evening and night-time economies. Towns which are thriving are focusing on 24/7,” he told C-Store. He said the ATCM would be promoting the importance of the after-hours economy, as well as high street operating costs such as business rates and insurance.

The support package will draw on the expertise of more than 30 organisations, including the Association of Convenience Stores, British Council of Shopping Centres, and the British Parking Association.

As part of the package, the ACS will be delivering a series of planning workshops to retailers, illustrating how to have more of a say in the future of their area by taking advantage of new powers in the Localism Act.