“Sustainable city, town and village centres which are thriving places for people to do business, socialise, shop, be creative and use public services as well as being great places to live.”
It will require everyone working together and the broadest possible buy-in from those who live and use our high streets. It will need partnership and a focus on delivery, and it will very much be a long-term project. Transformation will not happen overnight and significant work has already been undertaken in getting us to this point.
Right across society, there is a desire for our high streets to succeed. They are more than simply places to shop: they are a focal point for the community and the HSTF membership will use its networks to ensure a balanced approach that reaches across the entire region. With this, comes the understanding that it cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution. Every high street is different. They each have their own character and personality, with traits as unique as the village, town or city where they are located, and they will need bespoke local solutions.
Call for Evidence
As part of this process, the Executive Office launched a Call for Evidence which ran from 25 October until 6 December 2021. The document, for reference only, is available via the following link: Call for Evidence – High Street Task Force
It was an important opportunity for people to have their say and was an essential step in bringing the vision to life and seeing results “at street level”. The Executive Office and the High Street Task Force encouraged the widest possible engagement and sharing of views and experiences through that Call for Evidence.
As part of the Call for Evidence, a series of nine workshops were conducted. They were carried out around the country to allow in-person views to be heard and discussed.
After the Call for Evidence closed, the HSTF membership formed a drafting subgroup comprising of existing members, and, after considering the findings, has produced the “Delivering a 21st Century High Street” report with their 14 recommendations. Alongside this report, the findings of the Call for Evidence have been summarised in the “Call for Evidence 2022 Report”.
Both reports are available via the following link: Call for Evidence Report and Recommendations.
The High Street Task Force report, “Delivering a 21st Century High Street” will now be subject to consideration by the NI Executive who will determine how it can be aligned with the future Programme for Government.