Towns Vitality Roadmap A new policy framework for the UK’s towns
18 September 2023
Overall, the impression given of the Towns Fund in our workshops was that although on paper the initiative is aimed at the long-term challenges that towns face, several features of the funding process make the effect of the scheme less than the sum of its parts. [...] Let’s Celebrate Towns Case Study: The ShopMEA App: Connecting businesses and customers in the wake of COVID-19 In response to the significant challenges to the high street posed by COVID-19, local authorities in Antrim used a public- private partnership to facilitate footfall in local towns through the ‘ShopMEA’ app. [...] Finally, the Council facilitated a renewed partnership between Your Pontypridd and the University of South Wales, to provide social media student placements in addition to art students utilising areas of the town to create and display pieces of art relevant to the area, as part of their final year assessments. [...] Harmonising Growth: The need for greater coordination and planning One of the most salient themes to emerge, both from our Accelerator Panel meetings and from the town-type workshops, was the significant challenges the fragmentation of local government in England and Wales poses to the coordination of efforts to revitalise towns and the implementation of policy. [...] Infrastructure The key policy priorities around infrastructure, identified in the previous chapter, revolve around streamlining and accelerating the rollout of broadband infrastructure to lower barriers hindering the growth of businesses and workers, and expanding mobility in towns by empowering towns and businesses to create more synchronised and effective transportation systems.