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The Future of the High Street discussion #afternoon

Final speaker is Martin Blackwell from the Association of Town Centre Management. Has come up with 100 ways to help the High Street on the ATCM website, includes:
Suggesting crowdfunding of schemes
Put on events to differentiate place
Access the high streets with shuttle services and similar plus have a car parking strategy
Get the business mix right and ask the right questions
Look at the evening and nighttime economy. Worth £66bn.

More at www.100ways.org.uk

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SarahHartley ·

James Miller, lead consultant at Experian. Looked at 1200 town centres and spotted trends towards the future for High Streets. Most interesting was the technology strand and he put forward to following innovation ideas:
- click and collect retail. Could that be expanded for local High Streets?
- town centre apps. Learn from the big shopping centres to guide people around. Barcode scanning and QR codes.
- innovations such as shop alerts via mobile
- QR cupcake and example of a gimmick but that can ignite interest
- paying with mobile wallets eg ping technology on phones

Ingredients for success
Adapt to older population
Adapt to economic constraints
Boost resilience
Embrace technology
Give people what they need

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SarahHartley ·

Next panel is 'reimagining our high streets'. First speaker is councillor Vidhi Mohan from Croydon council.
8th largest urban authority in the UK and population growing fast.

£23m regeneration fund from Mayor of London after the riots. It is a Portas Pilot town and intends to concentrate on 'heritage and cultural renaissance.'
Focus of Portas funding is the Old Town area with a food market they want to develop.
Forming a micro loan scheme for traders to fill up any empty market spaces and they are also looking at creating a community kitchen with different cuisines on offer and wi-fi.

In addition has post riot cash from GLA to improve shop fronts across a wider area.
Their lessons to learn are:
Manage expectations.
Work in partnership
Map you High Streets
Involve residents and businesses
Be creative - innovation is key
Communicate effectively
Assume local authority vision is shared
Deliver piecemeal interventions
Ignore local knowledge
Spread resources thinly
Miss opportunities
Forget the bigger picture

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SarahHartley ·

First speaker is Gordon Maddan, programme manager for business engagement, better regulation delivery office at the department for business, innovation and skills. ( no chance of using moo.com business cards there then!)

One of the early initiatives they undertook was a 'trading places' scheme of putting officials into real offices.

They hold regular Business Reference panels, work with LEP's .

In terms of regulation and growth - a regulatory system and attempting to find a way to communicate with smaller businesses.

Working with businesses in Leicestershire, Birmingham and Solihull to see if having a closer relationship with regulators would have a beneficial impact.

Initiatives so far have included hosting an event where all the regulators can introduce themselves and their area of expertise to start that conversation.

The BRDO is now looking to support a further 8LEPs.

Suggests that a High Street audit is carried out looking at all the regulatory structures.

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SarahHartley ·

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