In the future, you may not be able to ‘pop’ to your local shop
Our High Streets are a significant part of our national and local economy; and a huge reservoir of the nation’s wealth. They provide jobs, distribute goods and services, and are a place of investment. We can’t afford to see this investment slip away.
The Portas Review highlighted the importance of town centres as the focal point of local communities, where we socialise, where many find local services; the place that gives a locality its identity, often. These functions are under threat; and the High Street needs to adapt if it is to continue to serve their communities; we can’t wish the buildings and streets away.
We can see the potential of using existing tools, in new ways, to attract investment
Town centres are not competing on a level playing field and need help; we see the potential to use existing tools, in a new way, to attract investment back into many of our centres. And we don’t mean that public subsidy is inevitable, or even always necessary.
Our town centres are fragmented and unable to adapt to change
The authors have identified the fragmented ownership of town centres as being a major barrier to investment. Fragmentation leaves our centres unable to adapt to change, to be dynamically managed like shopping centres, or some London destinations, which can rapidly respond to external conditions.
Delivering prosperous town centres means achieving higher rents and much lower yields
For the investor, it provides access to a new source of investment: by opening up entry into an situation with low rents and high yields, and offering the potential - through active management and change - to achieve higher rents and much lower yields.
This paper suggests how decline can be reversed by using tools that already exist but have never been used in the way we propose. But by doing so we believe that we can encourage institutional investment and high-level management, back into the High Street.
Our proposal is called Town Centre Investment Management
Town Centre Investment Management is a process that enables the core of town centres to be brought under unified control and management, allowing a major investor to effect the level of change that the key public and other stakeholders have agreed to achieve.