Are our towns ready to reinvent themselves?
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It’s clear that the Covid-19 health crisis has accelerated some of the changes which we were experiencing already, such as changes on our high streets and an even greater focus on climate change. However, after 12 months of working remotely many people are preparing to return to work in a “hybrid” model mixing working from home (or elsewhere) alongside time in a traditional office.
This seismic change to working practices with clearly have an impact on the North’s economic centres but rather than be the death of the office or the city centre, it appears the real opportunity is the one it provides the region’s towns.
Pre-pandemic millions of people commuted from their homes in towns into offices in city centres, but having been forced to spend more time in their locality over the last 12 months and with a feeling that this has brought some benefits to health, wellbeing and local economies, how can our towns be inspired to reinvent themselves by the new opportunity offered by changes to working practices?
That’s the questions our latest webinar in partnership with Bevan Brittan aims to answer.
Our expert panel will consider how towns have been revitalised in the past through their buildings what local authorities are doing in the wake of Covid to bring people back to their streets, and discuss how businesses, developers and planners can come together to rethink and reshape the high street and attract future inward investment.
The panel includes the chief executive of Halifax’s iconic heritage destination the Piece Hall, Nicky Chance Thompson which reopened in 2017 and has since brought millions of people into the town centre. She will be joined Richard Spackman the project director of Neighbourhood, Capital and Centric’s project in Rochdale to transform a former retail park into a new mixed use community featuring over 200 homes and Chris Dungworth, head of service at Business Doncaster, the town’s economic development service responsible for inward investment, place marketing and the visitor economy.
They alongside Lyndon Campbell and Dalee Kaur, partners at Bevan Brittan will also consider the potential for new approaches to planning and investment and how they can help shape our towns for the future.