7 July 2021

Getting town centres and high streets back on track: Stuart Harris joins expert panel with strategic advice for local authorities

Stuart Harris recently presented alongside a panel of real estate experts to Solace (Society of Local Authority Chief Execs). Some of the country’s most senior civic placemakers joined the session, which was led by Inner Circle Consulting, to listen to case studies and insights about how to get their town centres and high streets back on track after Covid-19 and the critical structural changes that were underway before the pandemic.

Acknowledging that local authorities are now operating in a ‘once in a generation’ post-pandemic landscape, Stuart shared examples of new uses for excess retail space and emphasised the importance of public and private sector collaboration to enable the recovery.

Stuart also highlighted the importance of vision and masterplanning and catalysts such as markets, which have in his experience, led the way to fundamental change.

Inner Circle Consulting summarised the session in a report available via LinkedIn stating that; “Real estate touches almost every civic function in some way. Crucially important to all Councils, it offers unique opportunities to realise the value from social returns on investment, over and above financial returns, that commercial operators cannot access.”

Inner Circle Consulting report