Poole - the Best Town Centre Experience in Dorset

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1 DRAFT - FOR CONSULTATION Poole - the Best Town Centre Experience in Dorset The Poole Town Centre Partnership Business Plan for 2013 to 2018 Images to follow The purpose of this Plan is to promote, to guide and to outline what is to be done The purpose of the Partnership is to lead, to inspire and to deliver the Plan 1

2 Foreword and Executive Summary To be scripted following consultation Index: To follow Accessibility and Engagement: A large print and easy read version of the Executive Summary together with information about translation is available via our website at www. If you would like to comment or discuss any aspect of this plan please make contact with the Town Centre Management Team through one of the following channels: Write to: 30, High Street, Poole, BH15 1BP Telephone: Click to: 2

3 Poole Town Centre the Place, the People, the unique Brand and the Vision The Town Centre is the heartbeat of Poole it should reflect our identity, culture and ambition. The Place: This plan and the work of the partnership focuses on the area of the Lower High Street, Lower High Street, Old Town, The Quay, Dolphin Shopping Centre and Town Centre North. The catchment area for visitors and investors is local, regional national and international. Photographs, maps and diagrams will be introduced into the text later. The This is a place where business people thrive and employers engage, where entrepreneurs create and investors speculate, where stall-holders trade, where landlords lease and where retail and services are offered for sale. It is also where employees work and build their careers and where volunteers give their time. It is equally a place where people reside, where shoppers browse and buy, where people meet, relax, eat, drink and are entertained. A Unique Brand: The Town Centre hosts the largest indoor shopping centre in Dorset, the largest live arts centre outside London as well as being home to local, national and global businesses. These embrace a brand that is made unique by the historic Old Town and Quay, the new and unique Twin Sails Lifting Bridge, the 2 nd largest natural harbour in the world, the Sandbanks Peninsula and the best beaches and seaside experience in Great Britain. Resident businesses defining a commercial facet to the unique brand include Barclays, Sunseeker, Merlin, Lush as well as Poole Pottery and the RNLI. The Vision and Mission This business plan looks 5 years ahead and aspires for Poole Town Centre to be The Best Town Centre Experience in Dorset 3

4 The Town Centre Partnership, this Plan and its Purpose The Partnership The Town Centre Partnership comprises representation from private business and public services and adopts the established definition of good town centre management to provide the effective co-ordination of the private and public sectors, including local authority professionals, to create, in partnership, a successful town centre building upon full consultation (Healy and Baker, 1994). The constitution of the Partnership and current members are found on the website at and in the flyleaf at the rear of this document. The partnership is led by an elected Management Board which meets each quarter. It is managed day to day by the Town Centre Management Team. This Plan This plan is designed to describe, promote and guide the work of the Partnership. It is specific enough to direct, versatile enough to adapt and concise enough to be picked up and read! It supports partnership organisations to achieve their outcomes in a cycle of continuous improvement. The plan should be read by everyone who has an interest in the Town Centre! The Town Centre Context The context is continually being re-defined and influenced by the economic and political environment, interrelated plans and the needs and expectations of all the people described earlier. Related business plans and particularly the priorities of commercial and public service partnership members are reflected in the priorities of this plan. Primary aspirations amongst other plans are the development of Town Centre North and the Gillespies High Street Study as well as improving employment skills. Amongst the wide range of stakeholders, the needs and expectations of local people and visitors using the Town Centre is very important to the local economy. In a recent pilot survey, people expressed their expectations to feel welcome, to find value for money and, above all, to feel safe. The survey was also able to explore some differences between age groups; older group indicated that variety was important whilst younger people expressed a wish to be respected. 4

5 The Vision, the Challenge and Opportunities Expectations will need to be met and exceeded if Poole Town Centre is to be the Best Town Centre Experience in Dorset. The major challenge is one of understanding expectations in an environment of complex influences and change. Challenges The town is rich in historical, natural and modern attributes that provide the unique brand described earlier. Threats and weaknesses focus on the High Street as a destination as well as a route between the Quay and the Dolphin Shopping centre. The High Street risks being overlooked as regeneration occurs elsewhere in the town. Its length and linear character presents a challenge to improvement and a lack of general appeal is reflected in a 17% drop in footfall between 2011 and 2012 whilst overall figures compare poorly with national high street averages. Further challenges are presented by the attraction of out of town centres and internet shopping as well as sustaining appeal for residents and visitors in a town where custom fluctuates significantly in and out of the tourist seasons. Opportunities The town centre strategy is about continuity and synergy with past and other plans. This brings together innovative proposals from a review of the High Street by Gillespies (Architects), a study by the University of Bournemouth Retail School and the Town Centre Partnership and Chamber of Trade and Commerce work that supported a bid for Mary Portas High Street funding. The Town Centre will certainly benefit from the planned major investment in the Dolphin Shopping Centre and Falkland Square and the nearby regeneration associated with the new Twin Sails Bridge. In summary, we aspire to: Define the Town Centre as comprising distinct Areas or Quarters that will separately promote the Lower High Street and the Town Centre North Areas. Develop and promote the High Street as a promenade segmented by different themes and reflecting preferred retail outlets, cafes, leisure, niche market stalls and street art performances. Support the redesign and promote the modern retail and leisure facilities of Town Centre North. Improve business outputs and outcomes by creating career opportunities and developing business skills. 5

6 We will achieve these aspirations through a programme comprising 5 cross-cutting priorities that will develop continuously. Priority 4. Engage Businesses Priority 5. Market the Town Centre Offer Priority 3. Improve welcome and Safety Priority 1. Embrace Heritage Priority 2. Generate Vitality in the High Street The Priorities are set out in the next pages. Each Priority is described with a specific Plan and a list of the People that are the focus of activity. Stakeholders are encouraged to interact in each case. The renewable 5 year milestone plan and first year action plan are found in the flyleaf at the rear of this document. 6

7 Priority 1: Embrace and promote the town s primary assets including the heritage, Old Town and Waterfront both locally and further afield Residents, Visitors and investors Priority: Embrace and promote natural and historical assets Rational: The natural and historical environment is what makes Poole unique and attractive and should be promoted Plan: Integrate natural and historical assetts into the brand Plan: Integrate the towns natural and historical assets with the retail and business offer to generate a unique Poole Town Centre brand Review the segmentation of Poole Town Centre into defined Areas or Quarters Introduce heritage themes to define specific areas of the town centre including themed aspects to the High Street, Quay and waterfront Create a sustainable events/activity programme based on the natural and heritage assets Improve the appearance of vacant shop fronts Residents Actual and potential retail and leisure visitors Potential investors The first year action plan and 5 year schedule are found in the flyleaf at the rear of this document and successive updates and annual action plans will be found on our website at Engagement: What are your expectations, how are we doing and how can you contribute to delivery? Please make contact through one of the following channels: Write to: Poole Town Centre Management, 30, High Street, Poole, BH15 1BP Telephone: Poole Town Centre Management on Click to: 7

8 Priority 2: Renew the vitality, vibrancy and footfall of the High Street Rationale: High Street footfall has been in decline but it remains strategically important as a primary retail location and visitor pathway between the Dolphin Shopping Centre and the Quay. Residents, visitors, businesses, artists, landlords, investtors Priority: Renew vitality of the High Street Plan: Plan: Re-brand with heritage themes Improve the public realm of the High Street Develop a promenade experience with themes to segment the street into shorter sections Introduce features to promote the sections Introduce local live art and music on a consistent and coordinated basis Introduce covered performance areas that double as shelters Attract and sustain specialist market stalls Develop the diversity, quality and strategic positioning of market stalls along length of High Street Promote a shop front standard Develop attractions and facilities for younger people Working with Landlords, seek opportunities to let or utilise vacant units Examine alternative uses for High Street properties Consider seeking a major or consortium of sponsors for High street Development Residents Actual and potential retail and leisure visitors Businesses Artists Landlords Potential investors The first year action plan and 5 year schedule are found in the flyleaf at the rear of this document and successive updates and annual action plans will be found on our website at Engagement: What are your expectations, how are we doing and how can you contribute to delivery? Please make contact through one of the following channels: Write to: Poole Town Centre Management, 30, High Street, Poole, BH15 1BP Telephone: Poole Town Centre Management on Click to:

9 Priority 3: Create and maintain a safe, clean, accessible and welcoming quality environment in the Town Centre, both day and night Residents, visitors and investors Priority: Improve welcome and safety Rationale: Residents, visitors and investors expect a safe and welcoming experience Plan: Plan: Apply customer expectation standards Improve the appearance and welcome of the Town Centre Establish a Customer Expectation Statement to define customer quality standards as well as acceptable street behaviour Develop further the Street Warden Scheme Introduce a Public Area Guardianship Scheme Prevent anti-social behavior including alcohol related nuisance Develop and maintain the Safe and Sound Scheme and the Safer Business Scheme Develop the evening economy Explore opportunities for tactical parking charges to encourage off peak trade Ensure equal and fair access arrangements to all visitors and potential visitors Embrace cost effective Green initiatives Residents Actual and potential retail and leisure visitors Businesses Potential Investors The first year action plan and 5 year schedule are found in the flyleaf at the rear of this document and successive updates and annual action plans will be found on our website at Engagement: What are your expectations, how are we doing and how can you contribute to delivery? Please make contact through one of the following channels: Write to: Poole Town Centre Management, 30, High Street, Poole, BH15 1BP Telephone: Poole Town Centre Management on Click to: 9

10 Priority 4 - Engage businesses and employers work towards a shared vision for the Town Centre with greater numbers actively involved in the Town Centre Partnership Businesses, employees, landlords Priority: Engage Businesses, Share the Vision and Particpate to Rationale: A Vision and Plan with the widest consensus and support is most likely to achieve success. Plan: Plan: Increase membership, create development opportunity Grow numbers of businesses joining and participating in the Town Centre Partnership Promote Trust and Confidence in the Partnership Encourage a business profile to match Customer Expectation Complete and maintain a Landlord Audit Engage Landlords in the business plan cycle and outcomes for the Town Centre Develop business skills/training opportunities for all partners to meet Customer Expectation Support business start-ups Consider application for Business Improvement District Status Businesses Employees Landlords The first year action plan and 5 year schedule are found in the flyleaf at the rear of this document and successive updates and annual action plans will be found on our website at Engagement: What are your expectations, how are we doing and how can you contribute to delivery? Please make contact through one of the following channels: Write to: Poole Town Centre Management, 30, High Street, Poole, BH15 1BP Telephone: Poole Town Centre Management on Click to: 10

11 Priority 5 To Increase awareness of the Poole Town Centre offer and to actively promote as a destination for shopping, leisure, tourism, business and living across all age groups Residents, visitors and Investors Priority: Market the Town centre Offer Rationale: The Town Centre has a unique selling proposition but it must shout louder and further than the competition Plan: Develop message and activity programme Plan: Develop an effective Marketing Plan Develop an effective Public Relations Plan Promote a clear and consistent marketing message that utilises social media Promote and deliver a sustainable and seasonal based events and activity programme throughout the year Support the Town Centre North Development Working with current investors to improve the offer of the Town Centre and promote opportunities to new investors Develop and target an investors pack and programme Introduce a performance monitoring scheme for each priority Residents Actual and potential retail and leisure visitors Existing and potential investors Media The first year action plan and 5 year schedule are found in the flyleaf at the rear of this document and successive updates and annual action plans will be found on our website at Engagement: What are your expectations, how are we doing and how can you contribute to delivery? Please make contact through one of the following channels: Write to: Poole Town Centre Management, 30, High Street, Poole, BH15 1BP Telephone: Poole Town Centre Management on Click to: 11

12 Measuring Up A hierarchy of key performance measures will be monitored by the Partnership Management Board to ensure progress of the plan. The highest level indicator will measure the outcome Vision and will be secured through surveying users of the Town Centre. Other output measures will include footfall, vacant business units and customer experience surveying about feelings of safety and satisfaction with parking, atmosphere, choice and service. Input performance measures will address the number of events, marketing campaigns, employment placements, mentoring and business support provision. We will also monitor membership of the Partnership. Measures will be adapted to support annual action plans. Funding the Partnership Partnership funding is approved annually and commonly comprises a 20% contribution from the Borough of Poole and the remainder from income generation and member subscriptions. Some actions described in the Plan will require specific funding. 12

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