A seminar on how to make the best use of empty shops on our high streets.
The north west is the region with the highest number of empty shops in the country - nearly 19% of shops are lying vacant. Many town centres across our region have been particularly badly hit and this is undermining our competitiveness and damaging our reputation.
Last year we saw multiple retailers cutting the numbers of stores they operate across the board - and it's a trend that is forecast to continue. Research shows that 50% of all high street and shopping centre leases in the Uk will expire by 2015. A battle is beginning over the future of our town centres.
This fast-paced seminar brings together leading figures in retail, pop-up shops and regeneration to look at how to find a way through this crisis to reinvent the high street and create distinctive, thriving communities.
1.00 pm Coffee, introductions and welcome
1.15pm Paul Turner-Mitchell: It's the future, but not as we know it - retail's rapid transformation.
1.30 pm Dan Thompson, Empty Shops Network: Reinventing the high street - finding new uses for empty buildings.
1.50 pm Adrian Nolan, Centre for Local Economic Strategies: Great town centres in an era of slumanomics - lessons in resilience.
2.05 pm Questions from the floor
2.20 pm Julian Dobson, Urban Pollinators: Changing the game in our town centres.
2.40 pm Dan Thompson: Boarded up Blighty - an empty shops travelogue.
3.00 pm Questions from the floor
3.15 pm Coffee break
3.30 pm Paul Turner-Mitchell: Town teams, landlords and new partnerships.
3.45 pm Simon Danczuk, MP: How Government can help - beyond gesture politics to serious policy.
4.00 pm Dan Thompson: How to develop an empty shops strategy to revitalise your high street.
4.30 pm Questions from the floor
4.45 pm Close