|Title:||The Future of the High Street: Revitalising our Town Centres|
|Date:||Tuesday 24th April 2012|
|Time:||10.15am – 4:30pm|
Register your place
|David Morris, Deputy Director, Local Economies, Regeneration and European Programmes, Department for Communities and Local Government|
|Graham Chase, President, The Association of Town Centre Management|
|Cllr Stephen Alambritis, Leader, London Borough of Merton; Former Head of Public Affairs, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)|
|Gordon Maddan, Business Engagement Manager, Better Regulation Delivery Office|
|Dan Gregory, Associate, Respublica|
Approximately 15,000 shops in town centres closed between 2000 and 2009, with a further 10,000 losses in the past couple of years. After years of neglect, deterioration and poor management our high streets and town centres have reached a stage where unless immediate action is taken to reverse this decline, many more towns and communities will lose the real social and economic benefits that high streets have been able to provide for centuries.
Recognising the important role high streets play as a focal point of social interaction, plus the employment and local commerce opportunities which they can provide, the Government has pledged to reverse this downward trend.
In December 2011, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published ‘Understanding High Street Performance’ and leading retail marketing consultant Mary Portas published an independent review of our high streets on request from the Prime Minister.
The rise of supermarkets, internet sales and growth in ‘m-commerce’ (sales over mobile devices) have provided robust competition to the high street. Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose now allocate more than one third of floor space to non-food sales. The supermarkets together sell almost as much music as HMV, the dominant high-street music shop – more than Apple or Amazon.
Against this background, local councils, landlords and retailers have sought to work together with Government to revitalise our town centres and bring economic and community life back onto our high streets.
This special symposium provides an invaluable opportunity for local authorities, retailers and leisure operators, town centre management teams and other key stakeholders to discuss the latest Government thinking and explore innovative solutions to shape the high street of the future.
|09:30||Registration and Morning Refreshments|
|10:15||Chair’s Welcome and Introduction|
Panel Session One:
High Streets at the Crossroads – Revitalising our Town Centres
|11:15||Morning Coffee Break|
|11:30||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel One|
Panel Session Two:
Policy into Practice – Implementing a New Sustainable Vision for Local Economic Growth
|14:15||Afternoon Coffee Break|
|14:30||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel Two|
|15:30||Chair’s Summary and Closing Comments|
“The High Street should be at the very heart of every community, bringing people together, providing essential services and creating jobs and investment; so it is vital that we do all that we can to ensure they thrive.”
— the Prime Minister, May 2011
“Our high streets can be lively, dynamic, exciting and social places that give a sense of belonging and trust to a community. Something which, as the recent riots clearly demonstrated, has been eroded and in some instances eradicated.
…Local authorities, landlords, retailers and the public need to work together to really animate the spaces they occupy; re-imagined as destinations for retail, socialising, culture, health, wellbeing, creativity and learning.”
— The Portas Review, December 2011