Turning your town around

As shoppers’ habits and expectations continue to evolve, high streets need to be clever, creative and nippy in order to thrive. If your town could use some help, our distinctive approach to high-street regeneration – led by Graham Soult, a Fellow of the Institute of Place Management – can give it the boost it needs.

Ashington town centre in Northumberland. Photograph by Graham Soult
Ashington town centre in Northumberland. Photograph by Graham Soult

Sometimes there is no alternative to investing in a town that has become rundown – redeveloping vacant properties, sprucing up public realm, and creating a cared-for place that is better equipped to attract new visitors and businesses.

However, where major capital investment is not possible, or more urgent action is needed – or if you’re looking to build upon the positive changes you’ve already made – we can help.

We work with local councils, BIDs, shopping centres, commercial property owners and other community organisations, drawing from our unique menu of services to deliver either a one-off project or ongoing support.

Our approach

Wherever we work, our approach to high-street regeneration and place management is always rooted in a deep understanding of that local market – its history, its challenges, and the businesses that currently operate within it.

The best solutions are those that grow out of the place, rather than ones that are imposed upon it.

Our menu of options can therefore include:

  • Insight: Providing retail market insight to inform decision-making, drawing from our knowledge of retail trends and visits to hundreds of retail centres across the country
  • PR: Using our superb channels, networks and media connections to secure positive coverage of your destination
  • Training and support: Equipping your local businesses with the digital skills they need – through small-group workshops or one-to-one training sessions, covering topics such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogging, and selling online – as well as sharing tips on enhancing kerb appeal and offering a great experience instore
  • Digital marketing: Setting up and managing social media accounts for your destination, to build awareness of the brand and offer, and drive footfall.

Project examples

Graham Soult with Councillor Heather Liddle at the launch of Sacriston Shops in November 2017

Two projects we are currently delivering in County Durham – in Chester-le-Street and Sacriston – are already having positive impacts.

We are encouraging businesses to be more socially active, celebrating and raising awareness of the existing retail offer, enhancing perceptions of those places, and contributing to positive change in the physical environment as existing businesses improve their kerb appeal and new ones open.

You can read about all our recent regeneration-related projects here.

In 2018, our work to champion and reimagine places has been recognised by Graham Soult being elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Place Management (IPM), a status only available to those who “hold a higher degree, have at least 6 years’ practical experience, and can demonstrate that they have had a considerable impact upon place management”.

Drop us a line

If you think our approach to high-street regeneration and place management can help your town we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Just send us an email, or give us a call on (0191) 461 0361.