Retail Champion and high street campaigner, Clare Rayner, announces the first Future High Street Summit in a bid to ditch the rhetoric about “death of the high street” and to kick-start positive ACTION to accelerate the transformation and regeneration of UK towns.
Launching the Future High Street Summit
Today marks the launch of the Future High Street Summit, an event that will bring together all those with a passion for the future of the Great British high street. Frustrated by the fundamental lack of REAL action from government to address the issues facing the UK’s high streets, in spite of various reviews, reports and forums, and with the appointment of a 3rd Minister for the High Street in less than 2 years, Rayner felt enough was enough. The time for talking had long since passed; what was needed was real action.
Sharing success stories and proven innovation to engage and inspire other areas to make a positive change
The Future High Street Summit, which takes place on 26th & 27th March 2014 at the National Space Centre near Leicester, will focus on sharing the innovation and success stories that have been proven to have had a positive impact where deployed. Platforming speakers from town teams, business improvement districts, industry bodies and technology innovators, the content will focus on how high streets UK-wide can benefit from lessons-learned by those who have successfully delivered initiatives that have had a positive social and economic impact on the community. Supporters, including ATCM (Association of Town and City Management), AMT (Action for Market Towns), bira (British Independent Retailers Association), CLES (Centre for Local and Economic Strategies) and Enterprise Rockers, will share the insight they have gained as leading industry bodies, subject matter experts, and business champions.
The high street is dead, long live the high street!
Rayner said “The time for reviews, reports and discussion has long since passed. Whilst some “experts” seem to find it easier to state that the high street is dead, this simply isn’t the case! There are some fantastic examples of innovation in action with town teams delivering a positive impact in their local community. Now is the time to give those success stories a voice, an opportunity to shout about their achievements and share their lessons learned with a group of like-minded, passionate people whose focus and future depends on the transformation of our high streets. For the first time we will bring all stakeholders together at a single event to share ideas and gain a better, deeper understanding of the constraints and issues each face AND to talk about the opportunities that exist to really make a difference. We will welcome town centre managers, directors of business improvement districts, local economic regeneration teams, leaders of retail and consumer facing businesses, property developers and landlords. This event will highlight what is proven to be possible and will offer practical advice based on real-world delivery that will enable all those who attend to take relevant ideas, and the motivation to bring them to life, back to their own areas. If the high street is dead, long live the high street! We’re going through a period of considerable transformation and what’s emerging is the high street of the future.”
Focusing on practical change that can quickly and cost effectively turn around the fortunes of ailing high streets
This 2-day summit aims to ensure that all those who attend will leave with a “shopping list” of ideas and solutions that will enable them to implement practical changes that can quickly and cost effectively turn around the fortunes of their future high street.
Rayner concluded: “It’s time for our high streets, towns and village centres to fight back against the accusation that they have no future! The high street is going through a very exciting period of change, and change is inevitably painful for some. For others it’s a phenomenal opportunity to redesign the way our towns serve and support the local community. The objective for this summit is to aid those responsible for delivering change in the various local communities to be able to build a picture of what the emerging future high street might look like, and to gain confidence from those who have already reported positive results.”
Anyone interested in attending this event, as a delegate, speaker or sponsor, can find out more via www.futurehighstreet.co.uk or by following @FutureHighSt on Twitter, by visiting the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/futurehighstreet
About the Future High Street Summit
The Future High Street Summit is the brain-child of Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion. At a time when the media are talking of ‘the death of the high street’ almost constantly, and in light of various reviews and discussion forums, it seemed there was simply too much talk and too little action…
Speaking to various people, from around the UK and from representative bodies it was clear that there were fantastic examples of towns, communities and high-streets implementing projects that had had a significant positive impact and often for only a very modest cost. There seemed little opportunity for those success stories to be platformed and shared with others. Clare felt that if only more town-teams, business improvement districts (BIDs), local councils and local businesses KNEW about the successes and achievements in some areas they’d feel inspired and empowered to take that knowledge, insight and example forward into their own communities.
From this frustration the Future High Street Summit was born… It was to be the platform that would enable the innovators and the success stories to share their capabilities and achievements with an audience of like-minded individuals who believed in a positive future for their local high streets, towns and village centres. Those individuals would then be able to bring those ideas back to their own communities, adapt them where relevant and take them forward for the benefit of their area.