Place leaders gather for Task Force pilot day

Published 18 February 2020
Last updated 18 February 2020

Local place leadership, collaboration and the use of data were on the agenda as the High Streets Task Force met with representatives from 14 pilot locations at the Manchester Metropolitan University on 13th February.

The Task Force will work with each of the 14 pilot locations over the next few months to test its products and services designed to support high street transformation and capacity building, which will be offered more widely until 2024.

Joining the Task Force were Council Leaders, other elected members, senior officers, business representatives, community leaders and consultants working on town centre proposals, for a day designed to introduce the pilot programme and to explain what support will be available.

Using evidence and data on the high street

The workshop explored some of the challenges to the high street and how towns and cities change, highlighting effective place leadership, collaboration and the use of evidence as important ingredients for successful place transformation.

The afternoon session explored how data can be gathered from high streets and used to better inform decision making and encourage collaboration. The pilot programme will enable the 14 places to better analyse the performance of their high streets using data dashboards and the session introduced how this will be done.

The Task Force had already shared reports, titled Transforming Your High Street, to each of the 14 pilot places, providing commentary on their bids to the Future High Streets Fund, which were not successful for Round 1. Similar reports from the Task Force are being prepared for all other locations that were not successful in Round 1, providing they have consented to the Task Force review.

Visiting high streets to help unlock their potential

Arrangements are already underway with the 14 pilot locations to host an Unlocking Your Place Potential visit where an expert from the Task Force will meet with local leaders to explore key barriers to transformation for the relevant high street and recommend a strategic response.

The Unlocking your Place Potential visit will also identify whether other services are required from the Task Force in order to bring about change. Depending on the challenge identified. This may include a visit by an expert in a particular field, a workshop run with place leaders and the local community, or training.

As well as working with the 14 pilot locations, the Task Force will pilot some of its products and services in other locations between now and the end of May in order to ensure they are as effective as possible.

We are very grateful to the locations that have agreed to participate and look forward to being able to roll out the tested offer from 1st July this year.