The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has been named as part of an expert group which will support local leaders to regenerate England's towns and city centres.
The government-funded High Streets Task Force, run by the Institute of Place Management, will be made up of a range of experts with a wide range of knowledge and insight.
The task force will provide tailored guidance and advice to local authorities seeking to breathe new life into their local high streets and town centres as they battle against changing consumer habits.
RTPI’s Deputy Head of Policy and Research Prof Aude Bicquelet-Lock (pictured) said:
“We’re really excited to be part of this exciting new task force, and are looking forward to the opportunity of helping councils, businesses and communities put high streets back at the heart of local communities.
“The future of our ailing high streets and town centres is a priority in our research programme this year, and we are planning to appoint suppliers to undertake research on best practices around high street rejuvenation in the next few weeks.”
One of the RTPI’s primary roles in the new group will be to chair the Professional, Research and Data Group which will pool the collective research resources and knowledge of professional membership bodies, UK academics and data providers to provide a state-of-the art review of the issues with policy recommendations.
Announcing the new Task Force, High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “High streets and the way we use them are changing, and this government is committed to helping communities to adapt. We want to see vibrant town centres where people live, shop, use services and spend their leisure time.
“But in order to evolve successfully, high streets must meet the needs of their local community and the key to this is strong local leadership. This is why we are providing additional support through a High Streets Task Force, drawing on the best expert advice, training and data that’s available.”