Access support for your high street
The High Streets Task Force provides advice, training and data to local leaders and stakeholders. This is funded by government and so there is no charge for this. Our additional targeted support to high streets depends on assessment of need.
What support does the Task Force offer?
The High Streets Task Force aims to strengthen local leadership in town and city centres.
We have a specific remit to boost local authority capacity in support of high streets and to build place making skills more widely within places. Support is available both online and directly via Task Force Experts and products.
Many of the online resources and learning provided by the Task Force are available to all, including those listed on this page.
In addition, the Task Force also provides direct support to selected towns and cities. This is delivered over a four year programme and based around analysis of need at a local level, using criteria agreed with our funders the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
What can I access now?
In response to COVID-19, and to the longer-term need for transformation, the Task Force has launched resources to support high street reopening and recovery. These are provided online and are available to all.
- COVID-19 recovery – guidance and resources [Go to resources]
To help tackle the impact of COVID-19, the Task Force has refocused its efforts to help place leaders take the most effective action now and build the capacity for recovery and longer-term transformation of their high streets. You can find a range of best practice and guidance, including specific advice related to the recently announced 'Reopening High Streets Safely Fund' for local authorities.
- Webinar programmes [Go to resources]
The Task Force is offering three webinar programmes that will all be recorded and a provide repository of knowledge that can be accessed by anyone who has registered with the High Streets Task Force. You can access the Routemap to Transformation now.
- Introduction to the Transformation Route Map [Go to resource]
COVID-19 has seen businesses, communities and place leaders adapt, form new partnerships, take action and make plans for a different kind of future for high streets and town centres. This new Route Map from the High Streets Task Force captures this learning and will help guide regeneration plans.
Make your own Transformation Routemap [Go to resource]
This diagnostic is intended to support the development of a local Transformation Route Map that is most suited to your town. It draws on the 4Rs framework of place renewal- Restructuring, Repositioning, Rebranding, and Reinventing - with four short diagnostic questionnaires to help you understand the priorities for your place, and how the 4R strategies should be used.
- Part of the 4Rs Regeneration Framework [read more]:
Repositioning your high street - How to use data and evidence to underpin visions, strategies and plans that will meet the needs of your catchment.
Reinventing your high street - How to change the offer on your high street and activate it.
Rebranding your high street - How to change perceptions of your high street and encourage more communication to flow between stakeholders.
Restructuring your high street - How to change the management and governance of your high street.
- Improving the vitality and viability of your high street – Identifying the top 25 priorities for action [Go to resource]
Research has identified 25 priorities for attractive high streets that create long-term success. This Framework can be used by place leaders to prioritise action.
There are also 25 'Evidence on a Page' summaries of each of the individual priorities for vitality and viability.
- Place Marketing and Communications - Lessons from Enjoy Summer Safely [Go to resource]
This summer, the reopening of high streets and businesses around Britain after lockdown presented place managers with immense challenges – but also with new opportunities to look at doing things differently. This short guide, aimed at local authorities and other place-based organisations, seeks to identify and showcase best practice in place marketing and communications during summer 2020.
- Diagnostic: capacity and structures for change [Go to resource]
Whether or not your high street can transform into the vital and viable heart of the community depends upon the capacity and structures there are for managing change in your town. This diagnostic explores both of these aspects and enables you to understand the local culture for change.
- Resource library access [Go to library]
The High Streets Task Force is building a repository of resources, materials and data on high streets. All items are reviewed by experienced researchers and an abstract of each is available that contains key takeaways and links to the knowledge frameworks (so the resource is easily searchable/found and also prompts you to investigate associated resources). New items are being added on a weekly basis in line with the current focus and needs of high streets.
- Register for weekly updates [Register now]
Get the latest updates from the High Streets Task Force on a weekly basis. This will include practical guidance and advice, the latest resources added to the library, opportunities to join webinars and future training, and a chance to contribute your own perspective or work into the resource library.
Data dashboards (footfall and sentiment)
The High Streets Task Force dashboards are based on a successful prototype developed over the last few years with funding from InnovateUK. They are designed to help those engaged in place management to understand the performance of their town centre or high street.
Two versions of the dashboard are being developed:
The Advanced dashboard: available to any place management organisation in England that collects footfall data in a town centre or high street, using Springboard's automated footfall counting technology. The Advanced dashboard enables place leaders to identify their town type, and where it sits in the activity hierarchy, as well as a number of other functions, such as monitoring the daytime and nighttime economies.
The Standard dashboard: available to a wide variety of locations in England that agree to engage in a manual counting regime, counting three hours, over three days and three months. The Standard dashboard uses software, developed by Cardiff University, to turn these manual counts into one year of predicted, hourly footfall counts. This then enables place leaders to estimate their town type, level of attractiveness and other benefits.
Register your interest in a dashboard
To help us understand demand for the dashboards please register your interest, if you think a dashboard would help your town.
How can you access support?
Place leaders, local authorities, organisations and stakeholders should register their interest with the High Streets Task Force.
Support is open to a wide range of people and organisations, and much can be accessed immediately online. The Task Force will work with people from Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), town centre partnerships, civic and resident associations, business associations, local authorities, combined authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Government.
Some High Streets Task Force services will be based on the need and capacity of the organisation requesting assistance. Following initial engagement, we will identify the right Task Force intervention(s) needed to unlock the potential of that place and improve the capacity for place leadership and partnership working.