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City Centre Retail Strategy - Draft

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Background

Over the last decade the City Centre, through schemes such as the Bullring and The Mailbox, has seen its retail offer transformed creating a vibrant shopping experience. The major investments and redevelopments that are currently planned and underway will further strengthen this position.

While the centre has become hugely successful it still faces a number of challenges including how it plans for the future to ensure it remains competitive and attractive. Recognising the opportunity to build on its successes but also the need to respond to the challenges we have commenced the production of a Retail Strategy.

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Retail Strategy

The strategy’s focus is on the Retail Core, which sits at the heart of the City Centre, and is the primary destination for Birmingham’s shopping offer. The strategy takes a comprehensive view of the Retail Core, setting out the ambition for the future and identifying key interventions and actions.

The approach emphasises the need to diversify the offer to create a rounded destination with leisure, family entertainment, food and beverage and enhanced retail markets alongside a truly outstanding environment with a great public realm.

In producing this strategy we acknowledge that Birmingham has a rich and varied offer that extends beyond the Retail Core including the Jewellery Quarter, Digbeth and Southside as well as a wider network of district and local centres throughout the City. This wider retail offer is covered through a range of other documents both existing and emerging. Improving connections to these areas from the Retail Core is the key and the strategy acknowledges the importance of this.

What is clear is that the Retail Core, which is seeing major changes and will continue to face challenges, requires a comprehensive approach to put in place a strategy that can help the Us plan for the future and direct investment decisions and target actions.

Consultation

A strategy has been prepared in consultation with the Retail Business Improvement District and an initial engagement exercise undertaken in July and August 2013 to gain the views of City Centre stakeholders comprising retailers, property owners and their agents and shoppers. This engagement was key to establishing a clear understanding of the challenges facing the Retail Core and what can be done to strengthen its position and plan for the future.

The strategy sets out a vision, actions and identifies the Retail Core’s distinctive character areas.

The Draft City Centre Retail Strategy was launched for public consultation on Friday 19th September 2014. The public consultation ran for a six week period until Friday 31st October 2014 with the intention of continuing the debate on the future of the Retail Core and to help inform the development of the strategy.

The public consultation has now ended . All the comments received will be carefully considered and the strategy will be amended as appropriate. Following this, the strategy will be approved for use. It is anticipated that this will be late 2014

A copy of the draft Retail Strategy is also available below:

Document status: Draft Guidance Document Under consideration .

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Last Updated : 6th November 2014