High streets and town centres are at the centre of a maelstrom of debate. Unhelpful headlines about the 'death of the high street', couple with the closure of high profile multiple retailers, independents and restaurants are cause for concern, but with the right help and advice, the change we are seeing can be turned into an opportunity. Retail will no longer be the only focus for town centre activity, and its decline in many areas will pave the way for more innovative town centre uses that promote social cohesion, connection, experience, and enjoyment.
Town centres will attract new residents, new forms of workplace, innovative brands, technologies and sharing economy. They will be centres of learning, of debate, and of modern governance.
The approach to developing new town plans should utilise the full range of support available, from the Towns Fund and Future High Streets Fund to the High Street Task Force. But equally, plans will have to draw on evidence, local context, partnerships and goodwill to succeed. This is why BAS Consultancy works closely in situ with places to identify the champions who are willing to work together to develop the new vision and see it through.
Support is tailored to the specific needs of the client, but services include:
Three-hour interactive workshop for up to 50 stakeholders looking at historical changes to high streets, and potential futures. This encourages local people to consider the vision for their place, based on the evidence available and provides a roadmap to achieving it.
One-day place healthcheck focusing on every aspect of vitality and viability, from transport connectivity to retail strength, visitor experience and local sentiment. This provides a holistic, contextual snapshot of your town or city centre, giving some key recommendations as to next steps
Business case and funding development for local authorities getting together submissions for the Future High Street Fund and other grants. This involves extensive work with clients to build compelling cases, linked to the assessment criteria for each fund.