Renowned expert to help shape future of our high street

01/04/2019, PR-9027

Heart of Wakefield

One of the UK's leading high street economic regeneration experts is due to visit Wakefield to share his views on plans to transform the city centre.

Bill Grimsey, the author of The Grimsey Review which sets out an alternative analysis to help shape policy, will be visiting Wakefield on 4 April 2019 to speak with councillors from both parties and the local business community about ways and means of recreating the high street for 21st-century business.

Grimsey, the former CEO of Iceland, will be taken on a tour of the city to see current areas of regeneration and briefed on upcoming projects before making a presentation to a cross-party meeting on ways and means that the local authority can work with businesses and government to review the city centre. 

Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council said: "We are pleased to have Bill Grimsey visit us to review the city's regeneration plan and offer his expert insight and knowledge that would help create a successful place in which people would be proud to live, work and enjoy their leisure time. Building on the outcome of the City Centre Summit we have submitted a proposal to the government for the Future High Street Fund and this visit by Bill will help us to refine our vision."

Bill Grimsey said: "I am pleased to accept the invitation to visit Wakefield to see the current work and share my views on their plans to transform the city centre. I first learnt about the regeneration efforts during a Key Cities event in London in January and I have since been eagerly looking forward to seeing the regeneration activity that is underway."

Following that London meeting on the future of cities and town centres, at which Grimsey was the keynote speaker, the Council hosted a Wakefield City Centre Summit on 4 March 2019 which was attended by 60 delegates from more than 30 organisations who shared their ideas on how to revive and improve the city's high street.

The government has allocated £675million to be used to transform high streets and town centres across the UK.

A key theme to emerge from the City Centre Summit was understanding the importance of providing vibrant opportunities, to people of all ages and regardless of race, disability or gender, to attract them back to the high streets.

Delegates heard from a number of speakers, including Philip Kolvin QC, who is nationally renowned for his work in planning and licensing and Richard McGuckin, Director of Economic Growth and Development Stockton-On-Tees.

A high street taskforce is to be set up to bring together local stakeholders to discuss future initiatives and will be considering feedback from the Grimsey visit.

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