|Title:||The Future of the High Street: The Next Steps in Revitalising Our Town Centres|
|Date:||Tuesday 20th November 2012|
|Time:||10.15am – 4:30pm|
|Venue:||Broadway House, Westminster|
Register your place
|Mark Williams, Chair, Distressed Retail Property Taskforce|
|Martin Blackwell, Chief Executive, The Association of Town Centre Management|
|Cllr Peter Fleming, Chair, Improvement and Innovation Board, Local Government Association|
|Gordon Maddan, Programme Manager — Business, Better Regulation Delivery Office, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills|
High Streets are a tangible indicator of the health of every local community and economy. They are vitally important centres of social interaction, employment and local commerce, but after years of neglect, deterioration and poor management, many towns and communities risk losing the real social and economic benefits that high streets have been able to provide for centuries.
Recognising the important role high streets play, the Government published ‘Understanding High Street Performance’ in December 2011, and leading retail marketing consultant Mary Portas published an independent review of our high streets on request from the Prime Minister.
Besides setting out what Mary Portas believed had led to the decline of the high street, the Portas Review made 28 key recommendations to identify what the Government, local authorities, businesses and others could do to develop new models of prosperous and diverse high streets.
The Government’s formal response to the Portas Review was published in March 2012. The response challenges local partners to re-imagine their town centres and high streets against the rise of out-of-town shopping centres, supermarkets, internet sales and growth in ‘m-commerce’ (sales over mobile devices) – the response outlines a package of measures to help high streets become the heart of our communities once more.
This was underpinned in July 2012, with the DCLG publication of ‘Re-imagining urban spaces to help revitalise our high streets’ – a guide for local partners to re-imagine the urban spaces in their area to help boost their local town centres and high streets.
Against this background, 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 revitalise our town centres and bring economic and community life back onto our high streets.
|09:30||Registration and Morning Refreshments|
|10:15||Chair’s Welcome and Introduction|
Panel Session One:
The Government’s Response to the Portas Review - High Streets at the Heart of Our Communities
|11:30||Morning Coffee Break|
|11:45||Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel One|
Panel Session Two:
High Streets at the Crossroads – Revitalising our Town Centres through Diversity and Competition
|14:30||Afternoon Coffee Break|
Panel Session Three:
Looking to the Future – ‘Re-Imagining’ Our High Streets and Town Centres
|15:45||Chair’s Summary and Closing Comments|
The hard work that Mary Portas put into her Review of the High Street produced a set of useful and thought-provoking recommendations … for our high streets to thrive they must offer something new and different.
That is why our wider response to Mary Portas’s review is designed not to prescribe to communities what they should do – but to give them the power to decide what’s right for their town centres … These measures give people the incentive and encouragement to take the lead and work together to put their creative ideas into practice. We look forward to seeing high streets across the country becoming the hearts of their communities once again. ”
— Prime Minister, March 2012
Mary Portas’ Review has sparked a renewed interest in securing the future of high streets – the Government’s response is designed to help those wanting to transform their town centres and reclaim their role at the heart of their communities … the measures we are putting in place are designed to support Town Teams across the country, from Newcastle to Newquay, as they find their own solution to the challenges their local areas face.
— Minister for Housing and Local Government, March 2012