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22 ANNIVERSARY Going to town The ATCM has been championing the role of town centre management for almost two decades S


ince the mid-1990s the Association of Town Centre Management has been working with all those interested in promoting the vitality and viability of town and city centres,


in the UK and further afield. Chief executive Martin Blackwell explains howthe organisation


achieves these lofty aims: “We have developed an extensive knowledge bank of good practice initiatives in town and city centres that have made a difference,” he says. “In additionwe run training programmes in both personal and


technical skills for managers and in partnership with universities and otherswe offer access to academic and vocational qualifications.” Today there are some 600 towns and cities in the UK that have


some form of management initiative. As locally developed initiatives working across centres of different scale, they are naturally varied in terms of their remit and activities. What they have in common is their increasing effectiveness in promoting the vitality and viability of a centre and maintaining its key role as the heart of its community. In the early years of town centre management, initiativeswere


It has four principal areas of activity: • Places – ATCMworkswith itsmembers inmaking places better. Its focus is on district, town and city centres but improvements in these can cumulatively contribute to making urban areas, regions and indeed nations better places.


• People – ATCMworkswith its partners to develop the people whowork in all aspects of town centre management or BID development to ensure they have thewide range of knowledge and skills to do a great job.


• Partnerships - ATCMworks with stakeholders to create effective partnerships that are accountable and sustainable and are able tomake change happen. This includes town and city centre management and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).


• Policy - ATCMliaiseswith governments and other bodies to ensure


mainly established as partnerships between a local authority and a few key retailers, with Boots, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s having themostwidespread involvement. Though these companies and the local authorities are still important supporters of town centre management,most partnerships have developed intowider structures and nowthere are over 100 Business Improvement Districts – or BIDs – in operation in the UK. The ATCMwas one of the leaders in the lobbying campaign to


allowBIDs in the UK. Although they can operate in any commercial area, town and city centre management initiatives have been at the forefront in developing BID proposals. The key difference from previous funding approaches is that once amajority of businesses within an area vote in favour of a BID, all businesses in the area are committed to contribute throughout the life of the BID, amaximum of five years. BIDs enable many town and city centre management initiatives to deliver on their plans more quickly and with more certainty.


Find out more: For more information, please contact the author: anniversary@jldmedia.com


a positive policy framework for town and city centres in planning, transport, housing, policing and security, tourism, investment, competition, taxation and funding.


November 1997


November 1997


December 1997


January 1998


extension, taking the then £200m centre into the 1m sq ft bracket


The Victoria Centre in Nottingham was undergoing a 161,000 sq ft


Overgate Centre to Lend Lease for £39.4m


SHOPPING CENTRE May 2011 www.shopping-centre.co.uk


TBI sold Dundee’s


Thistle Marches,in Stirling, Scotland, was said to be the ‘greatest letting success since the mid-80s’. It was 80 per cent let on opening.


with US pension fund, Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association bought The Forge shopping centre in Glasgow


Chesterfield Properties, in partnership


20 YEARS Leading the industry for


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