Pickles announces workshops to help towns modernise

Training and mentoring is to be targeted at the leaders of 350 ‘town teams’ across the country, which were created following the recommendations of the Portas Review.

Training will encourage towns to carry out high street health checks; agree what the town centre ‘offer’ will be to residents and visitors; and explain how to make best use of planning powers and new community rights to take over closed pubs or shops. It will also detail how neighbourhood planning should be used to decide what local areas should look like in the future.
The workshops will be provided by organisations such as the Association of Town and City Management, Centre for Local Economic Strategies and Business in the Community. They will advise town teams how to ‘future-proof’ their towns by looking beyond retail and turn high streets into thriving centres of culture, entertainment and social activity for the future. The training will draw on examples of successful high streets across the country that have developed winning strategies and created busy town centres.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “There isn’t a one-size-fits-all model but with the help of these dedicated local high street experts town teams will have the tools to make the changes they want, and support the high streets of the future.”

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