West of England Combined Authority High Streets Strategic Review

West of England CA appointed TownCentred (jointly with  YTKO) as a specialist external consultant to work collaboratively with the Authority and Unitary Authorities to deliver a High Streets Strategic Review.

A ‘High Streets Recovery and Adaptions Package’ was proposed, which would allocate additional investment to help high-street businesses adapt over the medium-to-longer term, by:

·        Enhancing regional leadership and coordination, drawing on local, regional, and national best practice to inform approach.

·        Driving innovation in utilising buildings and spaces including, for example, the concept of co-location hubs, cultural and creative activity, and inclusive entrepreneurship/start-ups

·        Extending successful support activities across the region where impact is greatest.

Through the Review, the consultant was required to establish strategic parameters and an ‘investment framework’ to help the region and its constituent authorities effectively maximise the benefits of existing funded delivery, whilst positioning for new opportunities.


Specifically, the Review sought to deliver the following:


1. POLICY AND FUNDING CONTEXT: analysis of the national, regional and local policy and funding landscape relevant to high streets recovery and adaptation, including relevant hooks and levers.


2. REVIEW OF CURRENT ACTIVITY: a high-level review of the impact of regional high streets activity to date, predominantly through the Combined Authority funded ‘Love our High Streets’ and ‘Regional Recovery Fund - High Streets Renewal Catalyst Fund’ but also other relevant local schemes. The review will draw together and summarise key insights, learning points and best practice.


3. INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK: a high-level regional investment framework for planning and shaping future high streets delivery, with overarching strategic aims and objectives, and suggestions for priority areas for focus and funding opportunities.