Town and city centres need to engage diverse groups of people, combining leadership and partnerships with local and expert knowledge to address the range of different issues they are facing, according to retail and place management experts at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Recommendations from academics at the University’s Institute of Place Management (IPM) feature in a new government report outlining radical new approaches to supporting the transformation of high streets and town centres.
The IPM, a professional body supporting people committed to developing, managing and making places better, was commissioned by the UK Government to collect evidence and contribute to the new “High Street Report”, published in December 2018.
As part of an expert panel chaired by retailer Sir John Timpson, the IPM was asked to diagnose the issues facing the UK’s high streets and town centres before advising on the best practical measures that central government can take to help.
The panel’s recommendations cover three areas: the Town Centre Task Force, the Future High Streets Fund and short-term measures to help high streets and town centres.
Cathy Parker, Co-Chair of the IPM and Professor of Marketing and Retail Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan, said:
“The High Street Report is a vital step in identifying the way forward for regenerating town and city centres. This is dependent on local leadership and partnership working that engages a broad spectrum of people locally.”
The High Street Report was published alongside the IPM’s own publication “High Street 2030: Achieving Change”, which details the findings of the research undertaken by the team.
The report was commissioned to support the work of the Minister for the High Street, Jake Berry, and the Expert Panel appointed to look at the future of the high street. The IPM organised six consultations with local high street users in Holmfirth, Altrincham, Bristol, Shrewsbury, Aldershot and at the Teenage Market in Bolton.