Yesterday, I attended the Public Policy Exchange event ‘From High Street to High Growth: The Next Steps in Transforming our Town Centres’. It was chaired by Jane Clossick, from Cass Cities, and focussed on the role of local authorities, communities and business in delivering town centre vitality.
Presentations and a series of lively discussions explored the changing nature of retail in town centres, such as the move from product shops to service shops with an emphasis on leisure and experience. Key points included the role that local authorities can play as choreographers of town centres, working across departments and using a mix of planning and asset management tools. It is clear that placemaking and good design is a key driver to help town centres adapt to new trends.