The future of our town and city centres is under threat as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates the switch from bricks and mortar to online retailing. This week Herald business turned the spotlight on the high street in a new special series.

In part one, it was declared the new Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) should allocate capital to fund the regeneration of towns and city centres left reeling by the fallout from the pandemic.

READ MORE: Scottish high streets are continuing to come under pressure from restrictions to halt the spread of coronavirus. Non-essential retail outlets, bars, restaurants, cafes, and cinemas having been closed since late December, with still no definitive prospect of reopening.

HeraldScotland: Licensed trade outlets are currently closed because of Covid restrictionsLicensed trade outlets are currently closed because of Covid restrictions

High street crisis sparks fresh calls for business rates overhaul

It is revealed calls are mounting for radical reform Sccotland’s business rates system to ignite the recovery high streets in part two, as fears grow that outlets currently closed because of coronavirus will not be able to afford bills when current relief ends in the coming months.

READ MORE: The catastrophic fallout from the pandemic has sharpened focus on the need for policy interventions to help businesses in towns and centres recover from the dramatic drop in footfall they have endured in recent months. Non-essential retail outlets, pubs, restaurants, cafes and cinemas have been closed for much of the last year in a bid to halt the virus.

HeraldScotland: Experts predict premium space will remain in demand. Picture: Getty ImagesExperts predict premium space will remain in demand. Picture: Getty Images

Office market set to split on quality lines

Part three: With the availability of vacant office space across Scotland rising at the strongest rate recorded since the global financial crisis, significant questions remain about the future of the workplace and the knock-on effects for town and city centres.

READ MORE: Surveys have consistently shown a strong appetite among employees for hybrid arrangements where they spend part of their time at home and part of it in a traditional workplace. 

HeraldScotland: Nucleus Financial chief executive David Ferguson has steered the firm through challenging market conditions Picture Gordon TerrisNucleus Financial chief executive David Ferguson has steered the firm through challenging market conditions Picture Gordon Terris

Fintech star set to succumb to £145m takeover offer

Financial technology star Nucleus Financial is set to be acquired by a rival in a deal which values the investment platform specialist at around £145 million.

READ MORE: Directors of Edinburgh-based Nucleus have recommended a 188p per share cash offer for the firm made by private-equity backed James Hay.

HeraldScotland: The Beresford building. Picture: Getty ImagesThe Beresford building. Picture: Getty Images

Work on 1930s-style cocktail bar and restaurant under way at art deco gem

A project to create a 1930s-style cocktail bar, and restaurant and events space in Glasgow's landmark art deco Beresford building will get under way today.

READ MORE: The Beresford Lounge project will be delivered by Pacific Building, which is based at Hillington on the outskirts of Glasgow.

HeraldScotland: Marco Giannasi hopes to realise his dream of installing a 1920s tram next to the restaurant Picture: Colin MearnsMarco Giannasi hopes to realise his dream of installing a 1920s tram next to the restaurant Picture: Colin Mearns

Restaurateur pursues tram dream and embarks on major restoration

The owner of a landmark Glasgow restaurant in a B-listed former tram station building is embarking on restoration works costing more than £100,000, while hoping to realise his dream of installing a recreated 1920s carriage next to the bistro.

READ MORE: Marco Giannasi, who owns the Battlefield Rest on the city’s south side with wife Yellena, this week highlighted the fact that he had been forced by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic to use up reserve capital that had before the crisis struck been earmarked for the restoration works.

Opinion

Kristy Dorsey: Job seekers left in the dark as application numbers multiply

Mark Williamson: Increase in energy prices beggars belief

Ian McConnell on Wednesday: From Rothesay to reality: what next for Rishi Sunak?

Scott Wright: Signs of hope for stricken hospitality trade​

Ian McConnell on Friday: Brexit could have taken many forms. Cheshire Cat Boris Johnson chose this one

Brian Donnelly: Minister's holidays side-step is a disgrace

Features

Monday Interview: Investors eye Edinburgh office and residential development

SME Focus: Coronavirus fuels demand for TEFL courses developed in Scotland

From the bulletin: Anger as Scottish seafood firms 'ineligible' for UK Government funding amid Brexit export crisis | Opinion: Stuart Patrick​

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