Building Partnerships

Town centres are one of the few locations which are used by every section of the community. To ensure a high level of inclusivity, representatives of all town centre user groups should be involved in developing a shared vision and later, a business plan. Think about who uses your town centre – this could include stakeholders from economic, social, political, cultural, religious or educational sectors.

There is no such thing as the ideal partnership, but there are common factors that mean your group is likely to include:


  • Local authorities, town councils

  • Local residents – often via residents association

  • Retailers of all sizes

  • Shopping centre managers

  • Local employers

  • Property and land-owners

  • Chamber of Commerce, Civic Association, and other local groups

  • Transport providers and operators; car park operators

  • Tourism, leisure, culture, and sport establishments and networks

  • Hospitality sector including restaurants, pubs and clubs

  • Universities colleges, schools and training providers

  • Media, creative enterprises & social media organisations

  • Blue light services

  • Charities, social enterprises and community groups


Take the time to talk to members of the above groups and begin to gauge opinion as to what they think makes a great place. Don't underestimate the power of a cup of tea – asking someone's opinion is the first step to collaboration and cooperation.