Creative High Streets Report Launch
02 February 2022
The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) and Arts Council England commissioned We Made That and PRD to develop a better understanding of how cultural and creative organisations can be embedded in high streets and drive their reinvigoration and reinvention. The research has been informed by a series of high street case studies, exploring a range of innovative actions, strategies and methods that could better unlock positive and inclusive growth for the region and bring together the high street recovery and creative sector growth agendas.
The region’s high streets and the creative sector are both emerging from the pandemic with great challenges to tackle, and with great uncertainties. There are also clear opportunities to be bold and imaginative when thinking and planning for the future. For example, new patterns of living and working could bolster new types of enterprise. More inclusive, localised economies and community-led regeneration efforts can also benefit from creative sector involvement. This changing context could point to the revival of high streets, and there is huge potential for the creative sector to contribute to a re-imagined model for them.
Across the region, high streets will have to be reconfigured to respond to a new reality and a different use of space. This will require a step change in the involvement between high streets and creative stakeholders – landowners, businesses, BIDs, public sector, third sector organisations – and communities. It will require all to be active agents of change, sources of information, and to come together in a way that complements and plugs into the other agencies and agendas at play, including the critical investments of Arts Council England, the historic and emerging agendas of local governments, and the strategies of the creative and cultural sector itself.
Now is the opportunity to join the dots between current high street issues, future cultural opportunities and potential solutions, including the way that cultural investment can act as a ‘glue’ in the mix, building a stronger, more sustainable and brighter future for the South East’s high streets and its creative sector.
Read more in the full report here.