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Let's Talk About our Towns 2018

Town centres are facing challenging times as retail habits change and as residents and visitors alter the way they view and experience our towns.

On 6th November 2018 over 50 business and community leaders from a wide range of West Sussex towns came together for the 'Let's Talk about our Towns' event at Edes House, Chichester.

The event was instigated by County Council Leader, Louise Goldsmith, to provide a local forum to consider the challenges high streets are facing nationwide.


View interviews with the speakers


Content of talks from the speakers


Welcoming the gathering at Edes House in Chichester, the Leader said: "West Sussex is home to a wonderful and diverse range of towns: market, rural and coastal towns and a beautiful cathedral city - but they will only thrive if we recognise we need to change.

"We are all aware of the dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour that have led to many of our town centres experiencing challenges.

"I hope this evening will start conversations, encourage innovative thinking and the sharing of best practice which will help our towns become more vibrant and resilient.

"Today is about listening, sharing ideas and the start of a journey. Everyone has a role in building a strong, vibrant community."

Joining Louise to share their experience and knowledge with the audience were Wayne Hemingway of Hemingway Design, Jackie Sadek of UK Regeneration and Bill Grimsey, Author of The Grimsey Review and former CEO of Iceland, Wickes and Focus DIY.

Bill emphasised the need for town centres to have a business plan, setting out how they would thrive in the future. 

Following the event, the government announced the details of the £675m Future High Streets Fund. Full details of the fund can be found here.

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