Our Take on Welsh Governments Town Centres: Position Statement
Last week the Welsh Government published a position statement on how it will work with partners to reinvigorate our town centres. For a studio that is actively contributing to the sense of place in our town centres, the statement provides a welcome direction on how some of the key challenges can be jointly overcome. The commitment to placemaking plans as the tool to secure place-based investment and ensure local communities and stakeholders shape the vision for town centres in particular is supported. The Urbanists presented on this subject at the RTPI Cymru Spring Conference, where we shared the lessons we had drawn from producing plans in Wales (in line with the Placemaking Wales Charter) and England.
The actions to work across government departments to direct new public services back into town centres, and to establish a consortium of landowners, social landlords and private developers are also backed. Each will help to reintroduce the diversity of uses that town centres require and help to overcome the viability challenges of redeveloping town centre buildings and sites.
Clearly the challenges remain, none more so than managing the regeneration of our town centres alongside climate change and nature emergencies, such as flood events, which are a direct barrier to introducing key types of investment into our centres. The position statement does, however, provide a clear starting point for targeted action by government and public and private partners to safeguard the future of our town centres.