A new £25m funding programme…?

Just imagine how much #highstreet impact this would have…!

🗝️ “A new £25m funding programme for centres with above average vacancy rate, to focus on bringing empties back into use.”

That’s one of two ‘Vacant to Vibrant’ recommendations in a just-published Manifesto for towns and cities from The BID Foundation called #PlacesForEveryone.

🤔 The national vacancy rate stands at 14%. Could we realistically drop that into single figures…?

📉 If one place can reduce its number of empty units from 23 to 3 in 18 months, and another looks like halving a 25% rate in the same timeframe. Maybe.

It was also really encouraging to see a key principle of our work featured in the Manifesto where it says:

“Experience from #TheVacantShopsAcademy suggests places tackle vacancy most quickly and sustainably, and improve the mix of uses when agents, landlords, businesses, community groups, councils, and BIDs work together.”

💡 That’s crucial. Tackling vacancy can’t just be “an agents-landlord thing”. All the listed players have a part to play. Without that you’ll be less effective – as towns and city centres trying just one or two initiatives rather than the full set are finding.

It’s been brilliant to work with a number of #BID colleagues and councils who are taking a lead on this crucial issue for their places, and to evidence the positive progress they can make.

📕 With publication and wider sharing of the Manifesto, it’d be great to see others take up this approach, and find vacancy rates in more town and city centres tumbling.

Is your place on it…?

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