To consider a report of the Director of Development and Regeneration.
The report provides an update on the Council’s partnership with the Institute of Place Management in supporting the development of the Borough’s eight District Centres and to set out the next steps along with recommendations on spend within the current financial year 2022/ 23.
The Scrutiny Committee is asked to comment on the recommendations to Cabinet and note the report.
Officer contact: Helen Walters 07800 618140 | firstname.lastname@example.org
A representative of the Director of Development and Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) which provided an update on the council’s partnership with the Institute of Place Management (IPM) in supporting the development of the borough’s eight district centres and set out next steps along with recommendations on spend within the current financial year 2022/ 2023.
The Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration (Councillor Colin MacAlister) and Helen Walters (Town Centre Manager, Stockport Council) attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Scrutiny Committee.
The following comments were made/ issues raised:
· Members noted that individual reports were due to be considered by all of the Area Committee meetings in this meeting cycle.
· It was reported that the council were receiving good value for money for the work carried out by IPM given the amount of work that they had undertaken in each district centre.
· Members were advised that the role of the two District Centre Managers was to facilitate projects in supporting the development of the district centres, with the aim to make district centres as self-sufficient as possible. The District Centre Managers worked closely with the Town Centre Manager, as well as each other, which enabled them to share best practice across work for the centres.
· Concerns were raised as to the total budget of £40,000 (£5000 per district centre) to support their development for this financial year. It was advised that, due to the cost of living crisis, the booster for district centres could not be higher at this time.
· In response to a question as to why the loan scheme had not been put in place, it was noted that the loan scheme was predicated on filling vacant units within district centres and the current vacancy rate within the district centres were significantly lower than the national average. The Cabinet Member reassured the Scrutiny Committee that he would work with members to look at ways to support investment in the next financial year.
· It was noted that the outcomes from the work on district centres would help to support any next steps for prospective work on other local centres in the future.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.