Published on December 10, 2013
The Future of our High Streets Association of Town & City Management Lisa Durkin North West Town Team & Portas Pilot Advisor
Town Centres are in Decline The number of town centre stores fell by almost 23,000 between 2002 and 2012; estimated further 10,000 losses over the next couple of years Nearly one in six shops stands vacant High street footfall fallen by around 10% in the last three years (excluding central London)
Town Centre Futures 2020 Report
The decline of our town centres over the last decade is the subject of high profile national debate….. Despite their strong historic role, a range of factors have impacted on UK High Streets over the last decade: • changing demographic profile in our communities • growth in „omni-commerce’ • constantly evolving technologies • changing consumer habits • out-of-town competition and the rise of product aggregators • challenging economic climate, which has exacerbated the problem and is squeezing consumers hard. The Portas Review, 2011
Experian‟s Town Futures Report suggests that these trends will continue with consumers demanding more Town Centres will need to accommodate and plan for the UK Consumers of the future Not only will they be increasingly tech savvy, but they will also place greater demands on the town centre and vote with their feet The report identified 7 key future socio-economic groups each with differing future needs e.g. urban pulse Expect choice “Want to be able to shop and live on own terms . Businesses must meet our needs – anywhere and anytime” Getting older “Focus on good service and leisure in nice, safe, local places” Use technology “Technology is a part of life, use it for information, shopping, socialising, deal hunting” Driven by value “New outlook, less credit, high costs, depressed income” Want experiences “Leisure is important. Want places that offer unique retail, cultural, socia l experiences”
After a weaker start in 2012, growth in NW over the next two years should broadly align with UK average The region posted sluggish growth in particular in the 1st half of 2012 The large manufacturing sector has been impacted by Eurozone turbulence and subdued domestic demand Growth in 2013/4 is expected to be largely in line with UK average with 2014 buoyed by stronger investment and consumption Unemployment has also declined by 1.2% in the year December to February 2013, but it remains higher than UK figures
Families will make up a quarter of population in 2019, alongside significant numbers of hard-pressed groups „Family Value‟ the price conscious squeezed middle (mid to lower income families) represent the highest proportion of the total and are above UK average „Daily challenges‟ hard pressed singles and families are highly over-represented in NW „Tough Vintage‟ struggling older singles and couples also represent a greater proportion than UK population It must be noted however that there is significant overrepresentation of affluent groups in some centres e.g. Knutsford
Top 3 Consumer Types in North West Family Value 1. Value : the „squeezed middle‟ 2. Experience: safe places for leisure 3. Use technology: purchase, price comparison 1. Value: the „squeezed bottom‟ 2. Use technology: price comparison voucher hunting, socialising Tough Vintage 1. Value: very low income 2. Service: friendly and local 3. Use technology: unlikely • Daily Challenges
Middle age group and older population look set to grow at fastest pace within the region Over the next decade 0-19 year olds will continue to make up the largest proportion of the population followed by the 50+ age group The greatest growth however is anticipated in the younger middle aged group (30-39) and the oldest groups (65+) Ensuring that the town centre offer appeals to older age groups will be critical
Consumer spending is anticipated to lag behind UK average We expect spending in the region to see modest growth of 0.8% in 2013 as incomes remain under pressure. In 2014, growth will pick up to 1.3%, but this rate is lower than UK average Again it must be noted that whilst this represents the regional picture – there are real pockets of affluence with high levels of consumer spending % growth Spending Income 2013 East Midlands East of England Greater London North East Northern Ireland North West Scotland South East South West Wales West Midlands Yorks. & Humber 2014 2013 2014 0.6 1.2 -0.2 1.0 1.5 2.0 0.3 1.3 1.6 2.1 1.1 1.6 0.6 1.1 -0.4 0.6 0.6 1.1 0.0 0.9 0.8 1.3 0.1 1.0 0.7 1.2 -0.2 0.7 1.3 1.8 0.5 1.4 0.9 1.4 0.1 1.2 0.7 1.2 -0.3 0.6 1.0 1.2 -0.3 0.7 0.9 1.4 -0.1 0.7 1.1 1.5 0.2 1.1 UK
High Street footfall continues its downward trend, with high decline in North West High Streets across the UK have suffered declining year on year footfall for several years The North West experienced a year on year drop of 10.9% (week 26 2012-2013) The trend is expected to continue in the medium term Complex issue due to decline in consumer spending and growth of online economy
SWOT Analysis: North West Strengths • • • • • • Relatively strong growth in 30-39 age group Business optimism remain positive High representation of family groups Weaknesses • • • • • Opportunities Growth should broadly align with UK • average Growth of E-commerce There will be a need to cater for hardpressed older and younger groups, but also pockets of affluent population Unemployment high Stark economic and socio-demographic variations across centres Declining high street footfall High retail vacancy Large proportion of less affluent groups Threats Consumer spending is set to remain behind the UK average
How do Town Teams Respond to Future Drivers of Change?
The Portas Review - An independent Review into the Future of our High Streets December 2011 Report produced 28 Key recommendations
A few Portas Inquiry Recommendations… • • • • • • Favourable Rating regime Town Centres need to be effectively managed The need for improved car parking and accessibility Deregulation and freeing up of red tape Planning policy Focus on making high streets accessible, attractive and safe 2. Empower successful /#sthash.gXJtUSAU.dpuf
Portas Review Response – c. £20 M • High Street innovation fund (100) – £100K (£10 M) • Portas Pilots – 27@ £100K (£2.7 M) • High Street Renewal Fund – £1,000,000 • Town Team Partners – 320@ £10,000 (£3.2 M) • Business in the Community Support • ATCM Support North West Portas Pilots; Nelson, Stockport, Morecambe, Liverpool – Lodge Lane
Portas Pilot Support package £100k +… • • • • Free mentoring and support from retail industry leaders including ATCM, Mary Portas‟s own team and from the retail industry; Access to sector and industry experts, such as the Arts Council, National Association of British Market Authorities, the Local Data Company and Springboard Opportunities to meet and discuss with fellow pilots to share their experiences and lessons learned Dedicated contact point in Government to provide advice and support in identifying and overcoming challenges to local business growth.
What are we delivering ?
Improved leadership • • • • • • • • • Getting a full business plan Active board in place for Town Teams Governance and structure Future Towns Economic Resilience Diagnostic Business Planning Partnership Development Chairing Town Teams Conflict Resolution
Greater Capacity • • • • • • • • • Getting a full business plan Active board in place for Town Teams Governance and structure Future Towns Economic Resilience Diagnostic Business Planning Partnership Development Chairing Town Teams Conflict Resolution
What is being Delivered • • • • • • • • • • Markets Pop Up Shops/Cinemas Loyalty Scheme /Shop Local Christmas Shopcrawls Environmental Improvements BIDs Feasibility Business Incubation and training Cultural & Sporting Events Promotion and Marketing Vacant Shops
Encouraging Shoppers to Town with Markets „This year’s Love Your Local Market fortnight ran from 15-29 May 2013. Just under 700 places ran 3,500 markets during the fortnight, and almost 3,000 free or subsidised pitches were taken by new traders. This builds on the success of last year when almost 400 markets and 2,200 new traders were involved. ‘
Providing accessible and affordable parking Government has supported this by: • Changing planning rules so that councils are free to offer as much parking in town centres as appropriate; • Scrapping minimum charge rules and issued guidance which encourages councils to set competitive parking charges; • Removing regulations which restricted supply of local car spaces; • Making data generated by local authorities (including income generated from parking fees and charges) available and accessible to the public.
Getting Empty Properties Back in to use • Government have made it easier to change the use of buildings to support our high streets and businesses •Pop up Shops - Pop-Up Britain and Local initiatives offer practical help and advice to support start-up businesses and encourage greater consumer Footfall.
Town centre management can be an important tool for revitalising high streets Place Management Initiatives Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) 150 + BIDs - Established in 2004 - Typically levy of 1% of rateable value - Estimated cost for set up: £50,000-100,000 & 18months – 2 years • 32 reached end of mandate of which 31 renewed mandate • £61m raised through levy and additional £107m realised through leveraging • E.g.: Ealing, Kingston, etc. Town Centre Management 500 towns with Town Centre Management initiatives - Around 20 years old - Informal or formal - Private and public stakeholders - Henley Centre/ BCSC: occupier mix & promotional activities are key to success - Focus on improving public spaces, activities, diverse & differentiated offer. E.g.: St.Annes-on-Sea, Stockport Others/ Hybrid Community Interest Companies Introduced in 2005 Type of social enterprise which only allows assets and profits to be reinvested in the community or in other CICs E.g.: Reading Portas Pilots 27 Portas pilot areas Allow testing of Portas recommendations and shared learning Town Team Partners Approx. 330 Source: BIS & GENECON (2011) Understanding High Street Performance
The Next Phase The enthusiasm shown by Portas Pilots and Town Teams is amazing. Mainly volunteers • The Future High Street Forum - brings together leaders from retail, property, business, academics, third sector, civil society and government to better understand the competition town centres across the country face and to drive forward new ideas and policies to help the high street compete and adapt.
The Next Phase • Look at the Barriers and enablers for success including business rates, property ownership and management, accessibility and parking and planning • Building a picture of what the future high street will look like, and templates that can be used and built on by the different models of high streets.
Raising the Quality of Town Centres in the Future Destinations Mixed use • Safe, attractive & fun • A balance of activities & attractions Leisure & NTE • An integral part of the offer Consumer responsive • Capture the missing market Management 24/7 • Self-regulating neighbourhoods
“The 20th Century was about getting around. The 21st Century will be about staying in a place worth staying in.” James H Kunstler: The Geography of Nowhere
In Summary Effective Partnerships Have we got the right people sat around the table? Capacity building – How do we resource our plan? Town Teams are the first step to building robust partnerships
Get in touch… Lisa Durkin Town Team Advisor North West e: firstname.lastname@example.org m: 07970 752989 Twitter:@PlaceShaper @TownTeamNW
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