Funding High Street regeneration

Edinburgh Grassmarket BID is strongly supported by residents
Edinburgh Grassmarket BID is strongly supported by residents

Improving the fortunes of the High Street will not be cost neutral, and will need funding. So what are the options to lever in more finance? Whilst it is possible to recycle the money saved from unnecessary, low payoff or expensive schemes, businesses (and residents) have a limited control or vote over what this money would be spent on. Continue reading Funding High Street regeneration

Take over high street shop fronts

Starting with the empty ones first. It doesn’t have to be ELC to lead this, just a creative coalition of the willing who could – with a suitable preferably local sponsor – pull off something really imaginative. Below is what Bushmills has been doing in Co. Antrim, hiring artists to create fake shop fronts, which naturally has been picked up by the chattering classes and attracted a few tourists to boot. Why can we not do something similar?

But I don’t mean fill up a shop window with childish pictures masquerading as art or swamping us with pictures of the same ankle biters, which at least one local newspaper annoyingly peddles almost weekly now.

Allow pop up shops to setup to test a new product or business model, or perhaps extend the buzz from a neighbouring town (we could reciprocate) or bring the out of town into the centre (Knowes, Belhaven, The Store, Thistly Cross etc). But no car booters, though these could be welcomed to a suitable location at regular intervals.

Continue reading Take over high street shop fronts

Form an association of residents

Brown-signsA primary motivation for setting up a residents association might be to organise and articulate the residents’ perspective, which to my mind has long been neglected on Dunbar High Street. Tenants and Residents Associations typically:

  • keep residents informed of the issues affecting their area
  • campaign on local issues e.g. be it litter, antisocial behaviour or anything else
  • act as a sounding board for development proposals, preferably before they are drawn up
  • represent residents’ views to the local council / community council / business associations
  • organise, social, leisure or educational activities
  • get involved with area based schemes such as the Community and Police Partnership
  • join with other residents groups to discuss issues of common concern

Continue reading Form an association of residents

Provide better litter facilities on street

A staggering 40% of litter is related to cigarette smoking, not just cigarette stubs, but the cellophane wrappers and silver foil and the packets too. That is 200 million stubs daily which is 122 tonnes across the UK! At a local level, I’d say that 100% the High Street sites I survey on any one day contain smoking related litter. Until I had a chat with my local Co-op manager, there were significant problems there, which he has helpfully started to address. With the advent of the smoking ban I’ll bet there has been a marked increase of discards on our pavements and streets near you too.

Continue reading Provide better litter facilities on street