A new Local Shops Action Plan – aimed at supporting local traders in shopping districts, town centres and high streets across the area – is going to be produced by B&NES.
The Council says it will seek to produce the new Action Plan in consultation with local business group, bringing together a range measures aimed at supporting and promoting the area’s shops and traders and boosting footfall on local high streets.
Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration, Cllr Paul Myers (Cons, Midsomer Norton Redfield), leading the work said, “We’re lucky in Bath & North East Somerset to have some of the best shopping districts in the country, ranging from Bath’s world renowned city centre, to our historic market towns and vibrant local high streets.
“However, we also know that, with the ever-increasing use of online shopping, high streets across the country are facing the challenge of adapting to the changing way people use local shops.
“We have been asking local traders and business groups in the City for their views, listening to the main issues affecting their shopping areas and gathering their ideas as part of developing the action plan. To ensure that we can support the whole of B&NES we will also be engaging business groups in NE Somerset to make sure that we can deliver as much support to the sector as possible.
The new Action Plan aims to cover all the key shopping districts in Bath & North East Somerset, from Bath city centre, to local high streets and town centres across the district.
Some of the issues the new Action Plan is proposing to look at include:
- How best to promote local shopping districts;
- Working with traders to improve the shopping experience in local retail centres and high streets to encourage greater footfall;
- How the Council should engage with local traders on an ongoing basis to ensure they continue to be supported in the years ahead;
- How to encourage a broad choice of retailers for shoppers, ranging from larger ‘anchor’ stores to smaller independent traders;
- What are the main factors that affect shopping districts, such as parking provision, public realm improvements, antisocial behaviour and community facilities.
Cllr Myers added, “Obviously any proposals will need to take account of the financial constraints the Council faces, and the future regeneration plans but the Council does have an important role to play in supporting our local economy. By working in partnership with local traders there’s much we can do to support locally-driven solutions”
The Council has said it recognises that there will be different issues affecting different parts of the area that will need locally-driven solutions, and wants to engage with local business groups such as local Chambers of Commerce for all of its towns and the Bath Business Improvement District in producing its Action Plan.