Maximising the potential of the Future High Street Fund

A one-day seminar for applicants to sharpen their thinking and improve their submissions


21st February, 10 am -3 pm, Manchester Metropolitan University

The Government announced a new Future High Street Fund of £675 million in the Budget. The Fund will support local areas, facing significant challenges, to prepare long-term strategies for high streets and town centres. Expressions of interest are to be submitted by local authorities who are expected to partner with others in the public and private sector to develop proposals that must form part of an overall vision the high street. The Fund is not expected to support proposals to expand traditional retail or short-term enhancements or promotions. The Fund may indicatively contribute up to £25 million per local area. 

It is clear that there will be strong competition from places to access the Fund. Whilst the brief for the first-stage of application is fairly flexible, we would expect a strong proposal to: 

- Identify the challenge. Clearly demonstrate an evidence-based understanding of the current performance, offer and ownership of the town centre, detailing change and the implications of this over recent years

- Have a shared vision for the future of the centre that recognises the challenges faced but also links to other strategic plans.

- Identify the physical infrastructure changes that will contribute to the achievement of the vision and co-funding arrangements to finance these

- Demonstrate a successful track-record of wide-ranging engagement with partners, especially local organisations and groups, showing a capacity for collaborative working 

To explore these issues further, the Institute of Place Management, at Manchester Metropolitan University, is hosting a one-day seminar that will help Future High Street Fund applicants sharpen their thinking and craft their submission. The seminar is free to attend thanks to the sponsorship of NewRiver ( ) 

The seminar will cover: 

- The multifunctional high street; retail, residential, commercial and social uses and how to plan for them 

- Co-funding your vision: sources of investment for your high street

- Data sources and evidenced-based challenges 

- Transforming your high street: Heritage, culture, landscape and transport

- Place leadership: Vision, partnership and collaboration 

Confirmed Agenda


10.00 - 10.30 The Future High Street Fund : Making a vision a reality 

Sir John Timpson CBE, Chairman of Timpson and Chair of the Government's Expert Advisory Panel on High Streets


10.30 - 11.00 Applying to the Future High Street Fund 

Laura Hurley, Head of Future High Street Fund, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government


11.00- 11.30 The multifunctional high street : How to plan for future uses and create a compelling vision

Simon Quin, Co-Chair, the Institute of Place Management

John Till, Director and Founder, Thinking Place


11.30 - 12.00 Evidencing your challenge : How to use data to support your application

Diane Wehrle, Marketing and Insights Director, Springboard


12.00 - 12.45 Co-funding your vision : How to involve private and public sector partners 

Paul Wright, Director, NewRiver

Nick Cumberland, Senior Specialist (Housing), Homes England


12.45 - 13.30 Lunch


13.30 - 14.30 Transforming your high street: Ambitious projects that make a difference. 

Catherine Dewar, Regional Director North West, Historic England

Martin Parretti, Principal Consultant (Movement and Place team), For Systra Ltd

Martin King, Director, Urban Green


14.30-15.00 Place partnership and leadership: Moving from consultation to collaboration

Steve Millington, Director of the Institute of Place Management and Metropolis Policy Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University

Seb Slater, Executive Director, Shrewsbury BID speaking alongside: 

Hayley Owen - Growth Programme and Strategy Manager, Shropshire Council

Helen Ball - Town Clerk, Shrewsbury Town Council

As part of the event, our main sponsor NewRiver and other sponsors Springboard and Thinking Place are offering one to one surgery sessions.

NewRiver are offering 15 minute surgery sessions to delegates that want to explore new models of public/private sector investment, prior to applying to the Future High Street Fund. The Future High Street Fund application specifically asks for places to demonstrate how their vision will align with other funding streams (public or private) so Paul Wright, an investment expert will be on hand to help you.

Springboard are offering 15 minute surgery sessions to clients that have footfall data and want to know how they can best use this, and other data, in their application to the Future High Street Fund. The Future High Street Fund application specifically asks for places to evidence need so their data experts, Diane Wehrle and Jon Burnett, will be on hand to help you.

Thinking Place are offering 15 minute surgery sessions on creating a compelling vision. The Future High Street Fund application specifically asks for places to evidence their vision, and how it fits with other strategies, so place making experts John Till and Sarah Perry will be on hand to help you.

To request your any of the one-to-one surgery session please email event organiser Tom: (

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