In our previous blog we explored the shift in Local Authorities investing in shopping centres over the past few years, as retailers struggle. Councils have also been investing in high street property in an attempt to revive high streets up and down the country. Access to reduced borrowing rates has been a factor allowing Local Authorities to invest in future proofing their town centres, steering a town in the right direction and reducing vacancies.
There is so much to consider when embarking on property investment to have a positive impact, considering the overall Place Branding Strategy and how much of the town’s property should remain pure retail or be converted to office space to support the retailers.
What should be the focus?
Many towns and cities have too much retail space, so ensuring a town centre strategy is in place has never been more important for a Local Authority. Re imagining the use for the newly acquired investment to house a diverse mix of businesses will ultimately ensure longevity, increasing footfall whilst reducing the overall vacancy rates. Stakeholder engagement is a key element too, storytelling through social media channels to attract investment and confidence in a town centre.
Cheaper borrowing provides Local Authorities a way of income generation through property investment and opens up opportunities for them to take greater control, focusing on making the town centre a more attractive place for visitors, inward investment and successful retailing; and not simply focusing on the retail element alone – an important part of turning around the fortunes of a town is with proactive management and a clear agreed Place Brand Strategy.
If you would like to read more about the evolution of our town centres then follow the link to the Retail Inspired blog here.
We would love to hear about your town centre and experiences, so please leave a comment below and we will respond to you.