A new High Streets Task Force supporting local leaders to revitalise high streets and town centres was launched on 2 July by High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP.
The High Streets Task Force will comprise of experts who will provide tailored guidance and advice to local authorities seeking to breathe new life into their local high streets as they battle against changing consumer habits.
Berry said: “High streets and the way we use them are changing, and this government is committed to helping communities to adapt. We want to see vibrant town centres where people live, shop, use services and spend their leisure time.
“But in order to evolve successfully, high streets must meet the needs of their local community and the key to this is strong local leadership. This is why we are providing additional support through a High Streets Task Force, drawing on the best expert advice, training and data that’s available.”
The Task Force has been created in response to the recommendations of the High Streets Expert Panel, chaired by the entrepreneur Sir John Timpson, who argue that successful change is created by local communities who have a vision for their high streets and town centres.
It will be run by the Institute of Place Management (IPM). The IPM has put together a consortium of high street experts with a wide range of knowledge and insight, including in planning and design. As part of this offer, local authorities will also be able to access up-to-date behavioural data that will provide insights into consumer habits.
Over the summer, the Task Force will engage with key stakeholders and agree a project plan with government.
Welcoming the announcement, Professor Cathy Parker, Co-Chair of the Institute, said: “We are looking forward to working with our partners through the High Streets Task Force. With support and investment from the government and professionals across the country, we have a fantastic opportunity to develop places that are really valued by the local communities they serve.”