High Street Task Force Experts

We are delighted to announce that Directors Andy Roberts and Lindsay Humblet have been appointed as High Street Task Force Experts. They will work alongside experienced professionals across a broad range of specialisms, form architecture to planning, to sustainable design, place leadership and civic engagement. The Task Force has recruited highly qualified experts from leading national bodies: Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Landscape Institute, Design Council, and the Institute of Place Management, to support transformation of our High Streets and help tackle complex barriers to change over the next 4 years.

Local authorities will receive free expert advice, mentoring and other help, funded by government, that can help them to evolve their town centres, progress local plans, bid for investment, and respond to the impact of COVID-19. The new High Street Task Force Experts, Mentors and Facilitators will deliver a range of services, including workshops with local authorities and communities to explore and build local visions, mentoring for place leaders, and bespoke advice to help councils tackle complex issues that are blocking progress.

Those appointed as High Streets Task Force Experts have at least 5 years’ experience and have demonstrated where they have helped solve similar complex place-based challenges relevant to their field. Andy and Lindsay have a wealth of experience to draw upon, encompassing their work on Altrincham Town Centre, Poynton Town Centre, Brunswick Street in Manchester, Fishergate and UCLan Public Realm Improvements, First Street North in Manchester, Leopold Square in Sheffield, Man Met University Public Realm and Landscape Strategy, Sale Public Realm and Movement Strategy, Blackburn Cathedral Quarter, NOMA’s Sadler’s Yard in Manchester, the Medieval Quarter in Manchester, Anfield and Breckfield Regeneration, Stockport Town Centre Design Guide and Town Centre Residential Quality Guide, Lancaster Canal Quarter Vision, Chorley Town Centre Masterplan and a host of current Planit-IE projects. Andy and Lindsay value the opportunity to share their expertise, to benefit of our High Streets and our communities. Their work has benefitted hugely from collaboration and generosity of experts within their fields, and, in turn, they look forward to helping others raise design aspirations and quality.

High Streets face numerous challenges within the current context of COVID-19, and a host of opportunities. Resilient high streets and centres are likely to be: higher density; have a greater mix of uses; incorporate more housing; enable flexible home working; and, include new infrastructure to support sustainability and technological connectivity. New opportunities will always emerge, whether from increased home-working and the decline in the private car, through to new community support projects which will emerge to try and repair many of the impacts of the pandemic. People will always adapt, and perhaps with a recognisable new thirst for interaction. The key ingredients of successful high streets that existed before the pandemic are still relevant to driving them forward into the future: working with their inherent assets to bring people together and enable existing and new uses to flourish.

Experts, Mentors or Facilitators have all committed to the High Streets Task Force Charter which ensures high standards of professional conduct and ways of working.