Heritage and the High Street

IHBC North West Branch

Day Conference
Wednesday 17th October 2012

Liverpool Medical Institution
114 Mount Pleasant
Liverpool, L35 SR

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According to a recent report by Deloitte, the future high street will be lined with coffee shops and internet kiosks, with the boundaries between physical and virtual space becoming increasingly blurred. They estimate that 4 out of 10 shops will have to close in the next 5 years as consumers move from stores to online shopping.

For Mary Portas, whose report found the High Street outdated, the future involves relaxing regulations, making town centres more affordable to visit, and reforming the way they are managed. But if retailers must reduce their property portfolios by 30-40%, what does this mean for the viability of the high street, which is a defining feature of most historic towns? If regulations are to be reduced, what can be done to protect and enhance the individual character and distinctiveness of these cherished places? In a time of such rapid change how can the historic environment adapt and survive?
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The conference will address these challenging issues in terms of both policy and practice. Speakers from Manchester Business School and the a Portas Pilot will outline how the recommendations of the Portas report are being developed, and how heritage can play its part. Local authorities and retail agents will explain how the retail sector can continue to provide vitality and interest. Conservation professionals and national bodies, such as Purple Flag and the British Parking Association will show how successful heritage regeneration schemes can delivered.

The conference will be of interest to planners, architects, developers, property owners, amenity societies, and all those who manage and care for the historic environment.