Residents and local business owners are being invited to get involved in shaping the future of local high streets across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
BCP Council is leading a programme to reimagine all 19 high streets across the three towns and has today (1 March) launched an online interactive map inviting people to join in the discussion, and share ideas on how they would like to see their high streets shape up in the future.
Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning, said: “I am delighted to launch this informal engagement which looks at the future of our high streets across BCP. We want your views! So many people have ideas about how they want to see their high streets function in the future and this is an ideal opportunity to create a bigger conversation that everyone can be part of and contribute towards.
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been working with the retail sector and businesses to get them through the COVID-19 crisis. However, now is the time to switch gears and reimagine our high streets and transform them ready for the 21st century.
“We are determined to do whatever it takes to give our high street businesses the fastest bounce back possible, and we are taking immediate steps to make this happen. We have an opportunity to embrace the change and to consider how best we can work with our partners and local communities to intervene positively in the industry.
“Whilst we do this we must also keep our focus on the future which is why through developing a strategy we can reignite the excitement, personality and character of our high streets and create spaces that are meaningful to all who visit, work and enjoy.”
Following approval from Cabinet on 10 February, the initial focus of the programme will be to create and develop an ambitious strategy to support the 19 high streets across the three towns in their recovery following the impact of the pandemic.
Working as a multi-partner taskforce made up of businesses and organisations, the programme will work collaboratively to support the recovery of the local economy and business community.
Councillor Broadhead added, “We believe high streets play a key role in creating a sense of place and they are the beating heart of our communities. Work is already underway around transformative plans for areas such as Poole high street and Westover Road, along with work for direct council intervention in empty shops to bring in new, innovative independent retailers – but as part of that piece of work we want to hear your ideas about what the future of your high street should look like.”
People can either add an idea to an online engagement board or add a pin to any of the 19 high street or town centre areas in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and comment on what they would like to see, what they think could be improved or what they like about a high street.
The ideas gathered will be reviewed and help inform the next stage of the strategy and high street recovery action plan.
Take part in the online platform and ideas.
The engagement will close on 28 March 2021.