EVENT REVIEW: What Next for the High Street? Different, not Dead

Despite the glorious sunshine, there was = a fantastic turn out for the high street inspired seminar on Tuesday 4th June, hosted by CBRE, entitled ‘What Next for the High Street: Different not Dead’.

The high streets continue to be a hot topic both in planning and across the wider media with a spate of national retailers closing and rising vacancy rates hitting the headlines in recent months. This was an opportune time, therefore, to review where the high street as we have known it is going to be heading.

Four great speakers took to the floor across the evening, showcasing the wide variety of stakeholders involved in the high street challenge. They were Maureen Hinton, Director of Research & Analysis at Verdict , Ian Anderson, Head of National and Retail Planning at CBRE, Ed Holloway an Architect representing SEE3, the Sydenham, Forest Hill and Kirkdale Portas Pilot Town and Andrew Cribb, the CEO of 3space.

Maureen Hinton started the evening with a revealing overview into the changing retail market, and insight into how consumers are spending their money.

The role of planning was next on the agenda, illustrated by Ian Anderson. He described the ‘perfect storm’, a number of factors which he believes to have contributed to the decline of the high street  and a Post-Portas slump.

Ed Holloway and Andrew Cribb rounded off the evening and brought an interesting dimension to the debate. Both provided excellent case studies on how both Portas Pilot towns and meanwhile or temporary uses can bring new life to the high street, highlighting the challenges and benefits of each project.

The evening closed with a question and answer session, followed by drinks and an opportunity for networking. We would like to extend our thanks once again to CBRE’s planning team for sponsoring the event, the four fantastic speakers and to all the delegates that attended.

All of our speakers’ presentations are available on request. If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact Lucy Barton at London@rtpi.org.uk

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