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Leigh Sparks and Phil Prentice

This session, in collaboration with the Regional Studies Association, will focus on Scotland; host to a range of leading place policy and practice across government, business improvement districts, place partnerships and other stakeholders.

We're pleased to welcome contributions from two eminent thinkers and practitioners in Scotland, Prof Leigh Sparks and Phil Prentice, both Senior Fellows of the IPM. We will be asking what does a Scottish perspective include, in contrast to those in Westminster and beyond

Wednesday 4 October 2023, 3.00–4.00pm

A Scottish perspective on place

This event is open to all. Please register on the Regional Studies Association website.



Scotland's Approach to Towns and Town Centres

Prof Leigh Sparks MA, PhD, CF, FRSE, SFIPM
Professor of Retail Studies, Deputy Principal, University of Stirling; Chair, Scotland's Towns Partnership, and IPM Senior Fellow.

For over a decade, Scotland has developed and followed a route map to seek to enhance the position of towns and town centres. From the Fraser Review, through Town Centre Action Plan 1, the development of the Town Centre First and the Place Principle, Scotland has sought a coherent and consistent approach. In 2021, the Sparks Review of progress - A New Future for Scotland's Town Centres - advocated a strengthening of approach and a more radical reconsideration of the medium-term ways forward. Much of this was accepted in the Scottish Government / COSLA Town Centre Action Plan 2. My part of the presentation considers this approach, outlines progress and identifies on the successes and barriers thus far.


Partnership in Place

Phil Prentice SFIPM
Consultant, Scotland’s Towns Partnership; National Programme Director of Scotland’s Improvement Districts, and IPM Senior Fellow.

I will discuss our expansive approach to Improvement Districts - City, Town, Island, Food and Drink, Tourism, Community, Business Parks, Digital - and how these projects benefit places in different ways
I’ll also touch on how our Place-Based approach and the Place Based Investment Programme is creating more holistic solutions and innovative partnerships.

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