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The Government's recently launched Build Back Better High Streets strategy sets out the government’s long term plan to support the evolution of high streets into thriving places to work, visit and live. But have they really considered the role that rural high streets play in their wider community, and how they can best be supported?
The Rural Services Network has published it’s latest Rural Lens Review into the Build Back Better High Streets Strategy, along with extracts from the Hospitality Strategy and it can be accessed at this link.
The Rural Lens series published by the RSN, is where we have reviewed Government strategies and plans from a rural perspective, highlighting your attention to key parts that may affect your rural communities and service delivery.
The Build Back Better High Streets Plan lacks any mention of the wider economic or social issue which are faced by people, businesses or communities in rural areas and which do themselves have an impact on High Streets – this is why the RSN continues to say “It’s Time for a (cross governmental department) Rural Strategy” and the need for our current campaign “Revitalising Rural: Realising the Vision” in which the RSN sets out a series of “asks” to government. “Asks” relevant to both the Build Back Better High Streets Plan and Hospitality Strategy feature in this Rural Lens Review.
The Government expresses its vision for High Streets as:
“We want to help every part of the country achieve the same: vibrant high streets where communities are at the heart of place-making; where a mix of commercial and residential uses complement each other; and where businesses large and small feel welcome.
We want to help areas create a vision that brings together planning, design and management of public spaces and local community assets to create local areas that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being. We will be relentless in reducing the blight of boarded up shops, uncleanliness and disrepair.
To unleash places’ potential, we want local leaders to champion their communities and be confident and flexible in responding to change. Our Great British high streets are at the heart of this country and are the core of what reflects a local area and community”.
Which the RSN recognises as laudable and yet:
- You can read about the Build Back Better High Streets Strategy at this link
- You can read the full Rural Lens Review of Build Back Better High Streets at this link
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