We heard a phone in today on BBC Radio Scotland about Scotland losing shops faster than any other part of Britain. Stephen Jardine asked listeners what does this mean for our high streets?
Bellair’s Managing Director Alistair Campbell is passionate about Falkirk town centre and is keen to make sure that it doesn’t die. Many people have heard the story of when Alistair created the vision for Falkirk Business Hub in 2012, people told him that it wouldn’t work – but in 2017 we are fully occupied and have a vibrant business community here and would like to think we have created a heart in Falkirk’s town centre.
We truly believe that our town centres can and should be vital social centres for communities – driving economic growth, supporting small business and entrepreneurial thinking and central to a town’s development.
We need to consider how to recreate our town centre to make it attractive, placing it back on an equal competitor platform with out of town shopping centres. We need to once again invest in town centres as the heart of communities – creating the right mix of facilities which build a neighbourhood. Recognising the value of public places for communities needs to be seen as a distinct asset – we need to plan and create spaces which will develop future local routines, create collective memories and nurture shared values. Developing buildings which complement retail offerings could help – for example mixed tenure housing within a town centre would create footfall for twilight trading – but the retail offer also needs to be suitable and respond.
Bellair is currently investigating further regeneration projects which take on the principles of what Alistair believes. What do you want to see from our town centre? If you are passionate on this subject and are keen to share your views, please get in touch or join us on social media to share your thoughts.