Town Centres and Regeneration
The regeneration of our town and city centres has been particularly topical in recent years. Key reports such as the Portas Report in England and the National Review of Town Centres in Scotland (Fraser report) have received considerable attention as have other studies and reviews.
However change in our town centres is not a new phenomenon. The trends towards larger retail units favouring out-of-centre locations and declining footfall in our town centres can be traced back to the early 1960s when resale price maintenance was abolished for most goods.
HPL's approach to the proposals for regeneration of town centres is based on the need to recognise the long history of change and to provide an economically viable future for our centres. This enables them to adapt and continue to provide key services and act as the central focus for our communities.
This means that a "one size fits all" approach will not be appropriate - some centres will have clear potential for a future based on new retail investment, others in different sectors such as tourism, leisure or public and private offices. Many will require improvement to infrastructure such as transport or the built environment. For many re-invigorating or empowering the private sector, for example, through BIDs will be key actions. For others the challenge is to manage change and reduce reliance on a declining retail sector.