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Putting the life back into our towns and cities

Portas think-piece: new recommendations; call on Town Centre First

Mary Portas / Croydon / DCLGTwo-and-a-half years since the publication of the Government-commissioned Portas Review of the future of the High Street, Mary Portas has published a new “think-piece.”

Within it she shares lessons learned from Pilots and Town Teams, showcases towns that have made a real change, and voices concerns about change-of-use; slow to act government; and whether the Town Centre First policy is being properly implemented. And she makes 38 recommendations about actions to take at local and national level to help towns to thrive.

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Boom in benchmarking as “measured towns reap benefits”»

It’s set to be a record year for Towns Alive’s popular Town Benchmarking service which gives towns a framework and methodology to collect, and analyse, data about their town centres at a minimal cost.

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Minister calls for Town Centre First commitment by Scottish public sector»

Public bodies in Scotland should “put the health of town centres first and consider what impact any investment decisions will have on them” by signing up to a new Town Centre First Principle, according to Scotland’s Local Government and Planning Minister, Derek Mackay.

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New online toolkit for Scotland’s towns»

A new toolkit will be launched to support practitioners and communities in Scotland’s towns later this year by a consortium including Towns Alive.

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Growing cross-party support for business rate reform»

93% of MPs agree that “reform of business rates is an important area for the future success of the high street and town centres,” according to research published this week.

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The continued growth of neighbourhood planning»

DCLG funding for communities undertaking Neighbourhood Plans is time-limited – so decide soon whether you should embark on your neighbourhood plan.

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The future of non-metropolitan England: call for evidence»

A new Commission has been launched to report in the economic and social future of non-metropolitan areas.

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