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19/03/2020

High Streets Task Force provides update on coronavirus outbreak

Words: Laura Edgar
Kendal / Shutterstock_1184849596

The High Streets Task Force has issued an update regarding its pilot programme amid the continuing Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

The pilot programme began working with 14 towns in February this year, while seven diagnostic tests have been held in the past few weeks, including meetings with local authority leaders and their partners to discuss high street performance and plans for the future.

Each of these towns will receive a report on the visit, as well as the next steps.

However, given the outbreak of Covid-19 and the resulting guidance issued by the government, the remaining seven pilot visits will not take place. They have been postponed until social distancing is discontinued and there are no longer restrictions on movement.

The task force said it would continue working with all 14 locations on piloting its range of online learning and webinar programmes. Changes have also been made to the meeting plans for April – most of them will take place online. 

A statement on the task force’s website said it would support town centres, their businesses and the communities they serve “through the very uncertain period ahead”. 

“We will be working with government and our wider partnerships to provide data on places and to share knowledge and resources as much as possible.”

The task force, of which the RTPI is a member, was formed by the government in response to recommendations made by an expert panel on the high street chaired by Sir John Timpson.

The government said the High Streets Task Force would give face-to-face support, access to “cutting-edge” research, new online training, and local footfall data to give businesses an edge in transforming town centres.


Read more: 

Local leadership is key to reinventing town centres

14 areas to receive funding for high streets


Image credit | Shutterstock

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