Future High Street Summit joins forces with ATCM to boost the UK’s towns and cities

Following its successful debut in March 2014, the Future High Street Summit is pleased to announce that it has partnered up with the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM) for its next event.

The event brings together councils, town teams, business improvement districts (BIDs), retailers and solution providers to share their ideas and experiences for a more prosperous future high street, and plans are already under way to make next year’s summit even more successful.

“The first ever Future High Street Summit gave attendees a fantastic opportunity to prepare for the future of their communities,” comments Clare Rayner, high street campaigner and founder of the event. “We’re delighted to have ATCM as a partner and now that the association has come on board, we can’t wait to bring a bigger and better event to delegates in March 2015.”

Shanaaz Carroll, CEO (Acting) of ATCM, agrees: “ATCM is pleased to join Clare and the Future High Street Summit team as they prepare for next year’s event. The Future High Street Summit aligns with ATCM’s aims and allows people to meet like-minded parties, share their experiences and take on new ideas which will drive our high streets to their full potential.”

With recent statistics revealing just how much the UK’s high streets are changing, it’s more important than ever that town and city stakeholders explore their options for growth.

Clare explains: “Although consumer confidence has reached a three-year high and vacancy rates are at their lowest since 2010, we’re not out of the woods yet. There’s still a lot of work to be done and it’s important that people understand these changes – not just of the high street, but of the UK’s shopping industry as a whole.”

With the rise of online shopping, high streets across the country are seeing higher demand for leisure experiences. Consumers are looking for activities that they can’t get online, and – unfortunately for high streets and shopping centres – most are heading to out-of-town retail parks to find them.

The BRC/Springboard Footfall Monitor for August 2014 showed that high street and shopping centre footfall decreased by 2.8% and 1.1%, respectively, compared to August 2013. Out-of-town retail, however, reported a 2.9% increase in the same period.

“By attending the Future High Street Summit, delegates will have the chance to learn more about these statistics and how the high streets can get that footfall back,” says Clare. “We’ve got heaps of activities planned, including keynote seminars, panel discussions, plenty of networking time – and, of course, a drinks reception at the end of the first day!

“We want to help people who aim to make a real difference to their local communities. We’re determined that the Future High Street Summit will offer attendees educational but understandable content, which they can immediately put into practice to develop their own future high streets.”

Next year’s event will take place on 25th and 26th March in the Nottingham Conference Centre at Nottingham Trent University. Registration is already open and delegates can sign up at www.futurehighstreet.co.uk/register.

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