Our bid to run the Government’s High Street Task Force was submitted before last week’s deadline. The Task Force is part of the Government’s Plan for the High Street and will be funded for a five year period.

The Institute has assembled a consortium of partners who bring expert knowledge about town centres, access to national networks, including town centre experts, communities and young people, and/or data on high street performance and change.

The consortium consists of:

  • Institute of Place Management
  • PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers)
  • The Design Council
  • Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Landscape Institute
  • Civic Voice
  • The BID Foundation
  • Association of Town and City Management
  • Market Innovations
  • Springboard
  • Maybe*
  • University of Cardiff
  • MyKnowledgeMap

The tender asked us to demonstrate how we would deliver four key objectives in relation to town centres: to boost local authority capacity, to build skills of placemakers, to coordinate activity relating to the high street and to promote information and data sharing. The Task Force will also support those local authorities who are shortlisted from the first stage application for the Future High Street Fund and provide guidance to help those preparing for the second round of bidding.

Our 90 page bid identified the approaches and tools we would bring to bear to deliver the Task Force, as well as the organisational structures and working methods we propose to adopt.

The partners in the consortium bring individual strengths but all have a commitment to supporting the vitality and viability of our town centres. The Task Force remit is for England only.

“The Government commitment to the Task Force, both in terms of timescale and the funding available, gives a real opportunity to address the challenges town centres are facing and to chart a shared path for their future.” Commented Institute Co-Chair Simon Quin. “The challenges are not insignificant, but we have assembled a really strong and wide ranging team who can make a profound difference to the level of support available to place leaders.”

“We want to thank all our partners who bring such expert insight and knowledge and who have committed to work with us to support people eager to transform town centres across the country”. Added Institute Co-Chair Professor Cathy Parker. “Our research has identified the changing environment for town centres and we want to work with our partners to ensure that local authorities, place partnerships and the community as whole can respond to this. We very much look forward to getting busy.”

The Task Force is scheduled to begin operations on 1 July 2019.