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The Role of Local Authorities in Revitalising our High Streets

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High streets are at the heart of our communities and local economies, they create jobs, develop small businesses and generate billions of pounds for our economy. However, the way communities’ shop and use their high streets is changing. For example, according to Government figures online sales increased 6-fold between 2007 and 2018. This puts the onus on high streets to evolve and adapt.

Last month, accountancy firm PwC published research (compiled by the Local Data Company) highlighting the closure of approximately fourteen shops every day, with online shopping being a key contributor to UK high streets facing their hardest trading climate in five years.

Another recent report from The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) found that Britain's high streets are getting unhealthier. The RSPH report said average life expectancy for people living in the least healthy high streets was lower. Shirley Cramer, RSPH chief executive said: "Our Health on the High Street rankings illustrate how unhealthy businesses concentrate in areas which already experience higher levels of deprivation, obesity and lower life expectancy…”

Despite the competition from online shopping, and other major changes in the past decades, there is evidence of many councils creatively leading a revival of their local town and city centres. According to the Local Government Association (LGA) successful councils are doing this through a range of tools and with local authority-led strategies that follow an evidenced-based understanding of changing consumer habits.

In addition, the Government has launched a £675m fund to help high streets adapt, announced a cut to the business rates bills for small retailers worth approximately £900 million over 2 years, and a relaxation of planning rules to support the country’s high streets.

This timely CEPHAS Public Policy symposium provides an invaluable opportunity for local authorities and other key stakeholders to discuss the latest Government thinking and explore innovative solutions to revitalise our town centres, boost economic performance and help to improve community and social integration in our high streets.

Order of the day

09:30 Registration and Morning Refreshments

10:15 Chairs Introduction

10:30 Morning Presentations

The morning session will focus on how successful councils are revitalising our town and city centres

  • Consider the range of tools being used by successful councils including local authority-led strategies that follow an evidenced-based understanding of changing customer habits
  • Learn more about the F-factors checklist in creating a 'forward framework' for town centre revitalisation
  • Focusing on Food – Assess the impact on high streets from the food and drink sector
  • Reshaping High Streets to be more health-promoting - understanding the role of high streets in developing sustainable communities and the potential benefits
  • Developing Digital – How can investment in digital infrastructure and basic skills help to revitalise high streets

11:30 Morning Coffee Break

11:45 Open Floor Deliberation and Debate

12:45 Networking Lunch

13:30 Afternoon Presentations

The afternoon session will consider the latest Government efforts to support the country’s high streets

  • Discuss how the new £675 million Future High Streets Fund will work and Its objectives
  • Embracing Heritage – Review Government funding to improve historic high streets
  • Will recent business rates reforms help to reinvigorate the high streets and should there be discounted rates for businesses which are health promoting and support wellbeing?
  • Share ideas and experience on how local leadership can implement new collaborative strategies for the high street, harness the energy of the local community and assess the role of the new High Streets Taskforce

14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break

14:45 Open Floor Deliberation and Debate

15:45 Chair’s Closing Remarks 

16:30 Close

Who should attend?

Please note the below list is not exclusive, therefore do not be discouraged from attending this event if your organisation or job title is not listed below.

  • Local Authorities
  • Town Teams
  • Local Authority Planners
  • Local Government Planning Committees
  • Local Planning Authorities
  • Town Centre Managers
  • Local and National Businesses
  • Banking, Property and Retail Sectors
  • Retailers, Landlords and Investors
  • Property Sector Trade Organisations
  • Local Authority Policymakers in Environmental Services
  • Directors of Economy and Environment
  • Environmental Health/ Enforcement Officers
  • National Trade Associations
  • Councillors and Key Town Centre Stakeholders
  • Tourism Managers
  • Property Management Officers
  • Estate Agent Associations
  • Retailers and Leisure Operators
  • Property Experts
  • Investors and Developers
  • Local Government Environmental Specialists
  • Planning Consultants and Surveyors
  • Urban Designers and Architects
  • Architectural Liaison Officers
  • Leading Members/Officers Responsible for Regeneration and the Environment
  • Community Development Officers
  • Neighbourhood Management Teams
  • Civil Enforcement Officers
  • Community Safety Managers
  • Local Authority Parking and Traffic Management Teams
  • Action for Market Towns
  • High Street Business Associations
  • British Chambers of Commerce
  • British Business Improvement Districts
  • Small Business Federations
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships
  • Management Consultancies Associations
  • Conservation Trusts
  • Transport Managers
  • Licensing Authorities
  • Charities
  • Voluntary Organisations
  • Third Sector Practitioners

Event Properties

Event Date 26-03-2019 9:30 am
Event End Date 26-03-2019 4:30 pm
Central Government Departments and Executive Agencies, NDPBs Register Now
Local Authority, Public Education Bodies, Police, Fire Services and NHS Bodies, National Charity, Regional Charity Register Now
Local Charity and Voluntary Organisations, Community Organisations Register Now
Broadway House, Westminster
Broadway House
Broadway House, Westminster

Pricing Guide

Private Sector, Central Government Departments and Executive Agencies, NDPBs Local Authority, Public Education Bodies, Police, Fire Services and NHS Bodies, National Charity, Regional Charity Local Charity and Voluntary Organisations, Community Organisations


1 Place £375

2+ Places £325 each


1 Place £285

2+ Places £255 each


1 Place £185

2+ Places £165 each

Speakers include:

Mike King, Director, People and Places Insight

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director, Springboard Research

Dominic Curran, Policy Adviser, British Retail Consortium (BRC)

Owain Lloyd-James, Head of Development Research and Policy Lead, Historic England

Jason Smith, CEO, UK : DRIC (UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre)

Malcolm Powers, Director, Tegula Consulting and former Councillor and Cabinet Member 

Maria Manion, Chief Executive, Watford BID

Councillor Graham Galpin MSc FIPM, Ashford Council and member of The Minister's Expert Panel on High Streets

Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive, Guy's and St Thomas' Charity

Vidhya Alakeson, Chief Executive, Power to Change and member of the Expert Panel to advise the High Streets Minister



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Registered in England under Company Number 10496875

Registered Office: Comer business & innovation centre
Building 3
North London business park
Oakleigh Rd South N11 1GN

VAT Registration Number: 261 4677 93

Contact Information

Contact number: 07966 570 339


CEPHAS Public Policy Communications Ltd
Comer business & innovation centre
Building 3
North London business park
Oakleigh Rd South N11 1GN