The future of our town centres is high on the national agenda with the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee recently publishing its “High Streets and Town Centres in 2030” report.
This is the outcome of a six month inquiry into the future role of the high street in contributing to the local economy and the health, cohesion and cultural life of the local community.
Its overall conclusions are that high streets and town centres “can survive and thrive, by 2030” providing they adapt. The Committee suggest this can be achieved by placing less emphasis on retail and more on green spaces, leisure, arts and culture, to create areas based on “social and community interactions.”
This level of policy focus, combined with the announcement of the £675 million Future High Streets Fund, presents a great opportunity to create better and more successful places for communities to engage. People want and need to interact and town centres can provide a great platform for that to happen. Whether it’s creating new and engaging cultural opportunities, places to work, to learn, to eat or to live, this is a once in a generation opportunity.
We are keen to continue the conversation to further explore how these challenges can be addressed in the longer term and how towns can really harness the current level of interest to develop an effective strategy for growth. This report covers the key themes of our roundtable including:
- Use of space