The future for the lucky ones
So the Portas Pilots were announced at the weekend and, despite twitter's best efforts, they were kept pretty secret until Saturday. Given our involvement in this project to date, we were among the lucky recipients of the list under embargo. And as tempting as it is to shout 'I know!' from the rooftops, or more accurately the twittersphere when you're privy to this kind of information, we managed to restrain ourselves - although colleagues did question whether it was really necessary to staple lips together.
So what do we make of it all? Well our President Peter Drummond, CEO of BDP, got the early morning Sky News slot on Saturday to tell viewers that we believe this is an incredibly exciting first step on what can only be a long journey in making our town centres the lively and bustling places they should be. Alongside the enthusiasm and creativity of these 'Town Teams', we need the private and public sectors working hand in glove in order to deliver significant and lasting regeneration. Michael Green, our CEO, dealt with some of the regional broadcasters and the excitement about the prospect of the Portas Circus coming to town with consummate professionalism, despite images of 2 men 1 dog, which can be very off-putting.
We're throwing our muscle behind this initiative as we believe there's a real need to highlight the plight of towns and cities across the country, and critically some of the obvious structural drivers radically changing the retail landscape. We're also working with the BPF on an industry mentoring programme and have made a range of products and services available free of charge to the successful 12 in the first phase and subsequent 15 in the second.
Mary has had a really tangible galvanising effect on this debate, but we all know it's the power of collective action that will uncover solutions, the whole is after all greater than the sum of its parts.
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