The beating heart of your home town or city is the high street.
For me that was in Southampton where I spent most of my time in the evenings, school holidays and weekends either helping out at my mum’s pharmacy, waiting tables at the local curry house or hanging out with my friends in the café.
High streets bring our communities together and I know how important they are.
Which is why when I was Chancellor I gave cash to local councils around the country through the Levelling Up Fund and the Future High Streets Fund.
Because levelling up isn’t just about better transport or better schools, but also about being able to take pride in the place you live.
I have a plan to do that.
If I become Prime Minister I will slash the number of empty shops by 2025 and strengthen the punishments for graffiti and litter.
I will review regulations to support our farmers’ markets and protect access to cash.
With clean, buzzing high streets with busy shops and full cafés, we can revitalise whole neighbourhoods and restore people’s pride of place in all corners of the United Kingdom.