15 Sep 2022 | Online
09:30 - 15:45

Event prices

Private Sector

£395 +VAT £345* +VAT

Public Sector

£295 +VAT £245* +VAT

*If registering more than 1 place


Creating places and spaces for people and communities

The role of the high street within communities has been evolving over the past two decades. The marked rise in online shopping, which accelerated significantly during the pandemic, is the latest challenge to retail businesses dependent on footfall for sales. Telephone services, retail parks and supermarkets have all changed the role of the high street for consumers - moving from holding an essential to a discretionary function. Town councils, city planners and major developers have all had to rethink how high streets can adapt to the post-Covid world, attract more footfall and re-engage with communities.

This House Briefing will explore the key challenges facing high streets, delving into case studies from impressive innovators. Hear from policy experts and leaders in the planning and development industry who will share their insights offering practical knowledge and solutions to the challenges facing our high streets.

Of course, these challenges also represent opportunities for new, innovative business ideas and community engagement. The Government’s Levelling Up White Paper has allocated funding to breathe new life into some of the UK’s less prosperous conurbations. Available within the Levelling Up plan is funding via the £2.4bn Towns Fund, the £830m Future High Streets Fund, and a £2bn Culture Recovery Fund helping museums, theatres, cinemas and heritage organisations. Using the funds available and taking a ‘lessons learned’ approach will be crucial in revitalising local high streets across the UK.

Key Takeaways

  • What are the key trends impacting high streets? 
  • Case studies demonstrating innovative policies and practices for revitalising high streets
  • How can local authorities, businesses and community organisations work together?



Chair's Introduction

Harry Banton, Principal Policitical Consultant, Dods Group


Opening keynote address: Driving positive and lasting change through high street transformation and healthy placemaking 
Communities, local authorities and the private sector must work together to create new places and spaces that meet local demand for safe and social experiences in and around the high street.

  • Building collaborative networks and partnerships to secure long-term success
  • Creating bold and transformative plans that excite and engage local stakeholders 
  • Developing purposeful designs that deliver genuine change and improvement

Mark Robinson, Chair, High Streets Task Force


Where next for high streets: trends, challenges and opportunities

  • Emerging and future high street trends – what does the post-retail landscape look like?
  • The true impact of Covid-19, the cost-of-living crisis and hybrid working
  • Key challenges and considerations: ‘out-of-town’ retail and the rise of online shopping
  • Healthy high streets: what does good place-making look like?

Lucy Stainton, Commercial Director, Local Data Company




Panel: Creating green and sustainable high streets and spaces to secure future success

  • Working together to deliver on climate change and sustainability goals
  • Creating green spaces in and around high streets 
  • Developing greener access to and transport around urban and rural centres
  • Low emission zones 
  • Pedestrianisation and low traffic schemes

Moderated by: Harry Banton, Principal Political Consultant, Dods Group
Sal Copley, Executive Director, Sustrans
Stephen Edwards, CEO, Living Streets
Adam Tranter, Cycling and Walking Commissioner, West Midlands Combined Authority


Coffee break


CASE STUDY: From functionality to experiential – Rethinking the department store experience
Hear from Gravity on how the company are repurposing and reinventing high street retail spaces and why being experientially focused to meet consumer needs is key to the future success of the high street.

Brian Webb, Chief Operating Officer, Gravity Active Entertainment




CASE STUDY: Stockton-on-Tees - Reimagining space on the high street

  • Taking bold and transformative steps to repurpose, restore and reconfigure the high street: sharing lessons learned
  • Tapping into and securing different avenues of funding
  • Prioritising events and experiences, independent enterprise and green spaces
  • Promoting local identity to secure buy-in from community stakeholders, businesses and residents

Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council


Lunch break


CASE STUDY: Supporting Cornish towns to thrive 

  • Repositioning for future investment opportunities 
  • Update on Partnerships for People and Place (PfPP) programme 
  • The Vitality Index

Phil Woods, Place and Regeneration Manager, Cornwall Council 




Creating intergenerational spaces 

  • The importance of intergenerational relationships and spaces for communities  
  • Developing intergenerational spaces 
  • Examples of good intergenerational space creation practice 

Bella Kerr, Intergenerational Development Officer, Generations Working Together 




CASE STUDY: Supporting local stakeholders, residents, and businesses  

CASE STUDY: Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea - Supporting local stakeholders, residents, and businesses 

  • The RBKC High Streets programme: what’s worked well, lessons learned and future aspirations
  • Developing High Street Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and securing investment
  • Focusing on the high street experience 
  • Creating opportunities for residents and local businesses

Cllr Josh Rendall, Lead Member for Local Economy & Employment, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea 




Creating safer places 

  • Community engagement and creating community buy-in
  • How police, fire and rescue authorities can work with local councils to address community safety
  • Exploring how best local authorities might deliver their community safety functions

Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire Police & Crime Comissioner


Chair's closing remarks


Close of event


Mark Robinson
Chair, High Streets Task Force

Mark is a high-profile leader in the worlds of retail property and placemaking, a position recognised with his appointment to lead the government’s High Street Task Force in July 2020, following his role as Revo President in 2019.

Over nearly three decades, Mark has worked in all aspects of the industry as an advisor, investor/developer and occupier.  In 2008 he co-founded Ellandi, a business currently undertaking over 30 projects in the UK with a value in excess of £1.5bn.

Ellandi has won Property Entrepreneurs of the Year at the Property Awards and was shortlisted for the Retail Property Company of the Year award by Estates Gazette.  Most recently, Ellandi won the inaugural Estates Gazette Rewire award recognising our commitment to leading diversity and inclusivity in the built environment industry.

Mark is a passionate advocate of the role of community in repurposing and shaping the purpose of our future places in response to the challenges and opportunities presented by the current market.

Lucy Stainton
Commercial Director, Local Data Company

Lucy joined the Local Data Company with experience from her time at CACI and now heads up commercial relationships across the retail, leisure, advisory, investor and private equity verticals. Lucy’s current role involves building and maintaining long-term relationships within some of the UK’s leading brands, working in partnership with occupiers and investors providing data, technology and analytics to power location strategy, competitor tracking, due diligence and portfolio optimisation. Outside of the Local Data Company, Lucy is a long term supporter of retailTrust, the leading industry charity and having most recently been Chair of the organising committee for the retailTrust London Celebration is now an ambassador.

Sal Copley
Executive Director, Sustrans

Sal leads Sustrans’ External Affairs directorate, comprising talented colleagues and teams working on strategic communications, policy, public affairs, fundraising and supporter engagement. 

Previously the Director of Policy, Campaigns and Partnerships with Alzheimer’s Society, she focussed on growing their Dementia Friends programme. She brought lived experience to the forefront of their work and ensured the Government did all it could to fix dementia care. 

During the last year, Sal was the Political Advisor to the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities and she has been Chair of Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre since 2016. 

Originally from Bradford in West Yorkshire, Sal now lives in Oxford with her two sons who are already, distressingly, considerably taller than her. She claims to be able to drink her own body weight in tea, although she admits that this can be quite challenging while running marathons and wild swimming. 

Stephen Edwards
CEO, Living Streets

Stephen Edwards joined Living Streets in December 2018, bringing a wealth of public affairs experience having spent 18 years advising charities, companies and trade associations on their public relations and communications strategies. He has a wealth of education experience as Chair of Governors in a North London Primary School and has been trustee of a number of small charities. 

Adam Tranter
Cycling and Walking Commissioner, West Midlands Combined Authority
Nigel Cooke
Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Nigel is a Cabinet Member at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and over recent years has overseen plans to revitalise the town centres in the Borough, including the riverside project for the Stockton High Street, repurposing the space from retail to an urban park and opening up the high street to the river. The plans for the High Street, which are set to complete in 2025, have been featured on BBC1’s Panorama and ITV’s Tonight programmes. 

Nigel was first elected as a councillor for Hardwick and Salter Lane Ward in 2011, and chaired the council’s Place Select Committee until 2015. In 2014 he received the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) Scrutineer of the Year award for his pioneering work tackling Affordable Warmth & Fuel Poverty.  Nigel became a Cabinet Member in 2015, first for Regeneration & Transport and then Regeneration & Housing in 2016. His portfolio not only includes economic and town centre development but also covers a wide range of responsibilities such as tourism, planning, and housing strategy and policy. 

Stockton-on-Tees is also part of the Tees Valley Combined Authority and over the years Nigel has had various roles on the Combined Authority including the Education and Skills Partnership Board and the Land Commission. He is also a member of the Housing, Neighbourhood and Affordable Warmth Partnership for the Borough.  

Nigel was born and grew up in Stockton-on-Tees. He works for the NHS as a clinical skills trainer and also has an interest in environmental issues. He is a keen musician and enjoys spending his spare time watching local bands with his wife. 


Phil Woods
Place and Regeneration Manager, Cornwall Council

Phillip is the Place and Regeneration Manager for Cornwall Council. 

He is an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry. He is skilled in Environmental Issues, Economic Growth and Regional Development, Government, and Management. 

Bella Kerr
Intergenerational Development Officer, Generations Working Together

Bella is Intergenerational Development Officer with Generations Working Together (GWT) who works across Scotland with GWT networks specifically around intergenerational practice in learning through storytelling, sharing skills and building relationships in communities between generations. Bella is involved in looking at inclusion, and intergenerational fairness and Intergenerational Housing, shared places, and spaces allowing people to share space and connect with each other, nurturing lifelong learning and relationships across and throughout the life cycle. Bella works closely with Housing, Places and Spaces intergenerational networks and is involved in consultancy work that plans to open intergenerational shared spaces or ideas for shared spaces in communities.

She studied Sociology and Politics at University of Strathclyde and went on to complete a Post Grad in Education and lifelong learning. Bella is involvement in intergenerational work has led to her co-writing online training courses on the subject. She works with Generations Working Together to connect younger and older people to build a better future with communities that are safe to grow up and grow old in and builds on active citizenship and strengthens communities.  

Cllr Josh Rendall
Lead Member for Local Economy & Employment, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Cllr Josh Rendall is from Brisbane, Australia, and relocated to Kensington and Chelsea in 2014, where his father was originally from. Josh became involved in politics due to wanting to give back to the community that welcomed him, and was elected as ward councillor for Stanley Ward, in Chelsea, in 2018.  

Josh studied law at university and undertook his subsequent legal training in Cambodia, and currently works in the finance sector in London, in addition to his role at Council.  

He joined the Leadership Team at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 2020 as Lead Member for Family and Children’s Services and following recent local elections in May 2022, took on the role of Lead Member for Local Economy and Employment at the Council.  

In Josh’s new portfolio, he is looking forward to delivering a wide-ranging programme of place-based activities for recovery of the borough’s High Streets, town centres and markets after the pandemic, as well as supporting Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and creating the best built environment in London. 


Caroline Henry
Nottinghamshire Police & Crime Commissioner

Caroline Henry was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire in May 2021 on a pledge to Make Notts Safe. Since coming into office, tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG) in Nottinghamshire has been a priority for the Commissioner.

Having successfully secured nearly £300,000 from the Home Office’s Safety of Women at Night Fund for Nottingham city centre, she has worked with partners in licensed trade to improve the safety and feelings of safety among women and girls. This has included introducing a Safe Space Pledge and providing training for those working in the night-time economy. The Safe Space Pledge invites bars, pubs, clubs and other night-time economy businesses in Nottingham to make a voluntary pledge to demonstrate their commitment to improving the safety and experiences of women and girls within their premises. The pledge is the first in the UK to be included as part of the Best Bar None accreditation and has been publicly praised by the Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales, Max Hill QC.   

Who should attend?
  • Councillors
  • Town Mayors
  • Planning Officers
  • Project Managers
  • Business Development Officers
  • Consultants (business, planning consultants and industry bodies)
  • Business Owners
  • Strategic Planning Managers
  • Heads of Infrastructure
  • Chief Executives

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Please note that all speakers and the agenda are subject to change without notice.