Aaaaaarrrrrggggh…! 🤬

#placemaking friends had to endure a bit of a ranting me this week as (yet) another national ‘death of the #highstreet’ headline disrupted one of my timelines.

It was especially maddening because I read it while I was in Sunderland on what was an enjoyable, insightful and encouraging out & about for #TheVacantShopsAcademy.

What I found – and not for the first time on recent trips around – was new openings, fresh investment and promising pipelines along with, and really importantly, proactive place partnerships: good people, working hard, together, to make a difference.

🔦 I know, as one LinkedIn friend kindly put it in a call this week, that I’ve become a bit of a torchbearer for the positive…

…but I just cannot see how continually talking down our town and city centres and their prospects ever helps.

For sure it remains challenging out there, yes we need policy and regulations change, funding support and more capacity. But equally crucial is confidence and investment and glooming isn’t that, doesn’t help…!

Or is it just me…?

📸 Anyway, thank you Sunderland old and repurposed, new, upcoming and maybe next…!

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