The High Streets Task Force, an alliance of place making experts, has appointed Neil Wild of Wild Property Consultancy as a Mentor to help communities and local government transform their high streets and town centres.
Town centre and high street revitalisation remains key as changes to shopping habits and recent lockdowns and local restrictions have affected towns across the country. Neil has developed an excellent reputation through his skills in commercial property consultancy and place management in aiding high street vitality within Oxfordshire towns including Banbury, Bicester, Wantage and Wallingford with services to town and district councils and to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).
The High Streets Task Force was commissioned by the government in 2019 as part of its Plan for the High Street and in response to recommendations of an expert panel on the high street chaired by the highly successful entrepreneur Sir John Timpson. Neil’s appointment is through the Institute of Place Management who hold the list of all those appointed by the Task Force.
Neil comments “It is a privilege to have been appointed by the High Streets Task Force. I am looking forward to being part of this national effort and supporting local authorities and communities to transform their high streets.”
Naturally, Neil’s priority will be to continue with his work as Director of Wild Property Consultancy providing property advice to clients across Oxfordshire but will take on specific appointments by the High Streets Task Force acting as a Mentor and Facilitator to local authorities and other town and city centre stakeholders.
Neil adds, “The work I shall be doing in this role will complement the property consultancy work I am already implementing for property owners and businesses who have a commitment to high street investment and success.”
The High Streets Task Force now provides support to local leaders in town centres and high streets in England. Run by the Institute of Place Management https://www.placemanagement.org/
on behalf of the government, it brings together a range of expert organisations on reinventing and restructuring places.
Task Force Mentors advise on a range of issues, including planning, urban design, placemaking, landscape architecture, resilience, transport, valuation, asset management, investment, governance, data and analytics, place management and leadership.
Once assigned, Task Force Mentors help to prescribe support that best meets the needs of the places that they visit and advise, helping to tackle a range of issues that could be blocking the potential of the local high streets.
“Town centres are vital not just for our local economic recovery but they provide a focal point for a community to come together, socialise and support one another. A healthy town centre is essential for our social well being. I have come over time to learn that the success and vibrancy of our town and city centres is very dependent on those who hold the power locally. Those bodies must work collaboratively to engage the local community to implement the appropriate measures to reinvigorate a place. I will use my role on the Task Force to provide insight and help facilitate this collaboration, thus making a positive difference to high streets wherever I am appointed.”
Neil was part of the Flashop team appointed by Cherwell District Council between 2014 and 2018 as a Banbury town team coordinator along with Iain Nicholson. This work was key to the town’s nomination and finalist in the Great British High Streets Awards of 2016. Neil was also founder with Iain Nicholson of the Flashop ‘pop up shop’ initiative which had great success in a number of Oxfordshire towns including Wantage, Wallingford and Banbury.
For more information on the High Streets Task Force visit www.highstreetstaskforce.org.uk