Business support

Retail webinar takeaways

During the lockdown, we’ve been attending a number of webinars which has definitely been positive, as it’s easier to fit them into the day or catch-up later as opposed to taking time out for an event but the two (live and online) are not quite same. The more recent ones have focused on how to start up the high street after Covid-19, and what the future of retail may look like after this global pandemic. Architects, Farrells ran a series of webinars discussing the impact of Covid-19 on the built environment, its design and the people living in it. One of these looked at reclaiming high streets post-COVID-19 and it’s interesting looking back to see that even though the discussion [...]

Learnings from High Street business engagement.

We wrote this post last month and in light of Covid-19 and most UK high streets being closed, we were ready to abandon it. However, as the lockdown continues, it became clearer that we’re unlikely to revert back to how things were/the old normal, which provided us with an opportunity to think about how we might adapt projects, or what we can do now to help us prepare for future engagement and in turn to ensure businesses are ready for reopening, whenever that may be. ------ Over the past 12 months, we’ve been managing several stakeholder engagement projects. Whilst talking to business owners, BID members, workers, market traders and high street users in very different places, we’ve uncovered interesting [...]

The Assembly Line annual round up

2019 has been a busy year at the Assembly Line. We have worked on a number of interesting and diverse projects and we are now planning ahead for 2020. We have capacity for new projects from March onwards. If you would like to collaborate on a high street project involving business engagement, retail, local economies, street markets or place marketing, please feel free to email us on hello@theassemblyline.co Here’s a recap of what we have been working on in 2019. Developing a market strategy via public consultation This year we worked with Westminster City Council to manage a public consultation on their six street markets. Over 18 months we were part of the wider team ensuring communications, licensing, legal and [...]

A Place Management tour of the North West.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the northwest this year. I know the region well having grown up there and worked in Manchester early in my career. Now based in London, I have been used to returning for quick weekends to see family or for events but often haven’t had the time to stay much longer. Since starting The Institute of Place Management’s MSc Place Management & Leadership Programme in January this year at Manchester Metropolitan University, I now build in time around the residential sessions to get out and about with my place management hat on and take a fresh look at new and familiar places. On a recent trip, we managed to fit in quite a [...]

Launching a market start-up/incubator programme with Chatsworth Road.

Photo credit: Kriss Lee  Chatsworth Road Market Traders’ and Residents’ Association (CRTRA) were the first group in Hackney, East London to launch a start-up trader programme for local residents at its weekly market. As the market grew from its early stages and expanded, the team wanted to ensure that local residents still felt connected to it and that there were opportunities available to them, if they had ideas for a new product or service. This entrepreneurial programme was aimed at local people on benefits (postcode and benefit confirmation were part of the application) and provided the opportunity for new traders to launch their own businesses at the market. The project aimed to: Connect local people with the street market Create [...]

2019-07-29T15:51:05+01:00July 15th, 2019|Business support, Enterprise, Marketing, Markets|

Creating a three year strategy for Westminster’s street markets via public consultation

This project involved oversight of a 13-week public consultation, working with the council’s Insight Team to devise a trader and customer survey, run drop-in sessions and use the response data to produce a three year strategy that recommended a way forward for all five of the council’s markets. Action plans were produced for one of London’s oldest markets on Berwick Street (Soho), the second biggest daily street market on Church Street and markets on Tachbrook Street (Pimlico), Strutton Ground (Victoria) and Maida Hill (Harrow Road). The plans were developed following extensive consultation and were in the context of developments already underway in the form of master/place plans and neighbourhood plans. Brief To: Develop a street markets strategy to include a [...]

High Street losses – It’s not just about shop closures…what about the services being lost?

While we read daily about shops closing down and major retailers going into administration, there isn’t the same coverage on the services and amenities disappearing from our town centres. On a recent trip to see family, I went to the town I grew up in. At first glance, it seemed a bit ‘frozen in time’. However, looking closer (and needing cash) I looked around for a cash machine/bank in all the places I remembered them being. Everywhere I looked they’d gone…Barclays Bank lay empty, NatWest was a pizzeria, Cheshire Building Society, a solicitors, TSB, a restaurant, HSBC and a pizza takeaway/delivery outlet. I eventually found a cash point tucked away round the side of a Tesco. A quick look online [...]

2019-08-27T14:40:13+01:00May 18th, 2019|Business support, High Streets & Town Centres|

The Stronger Town Fund launches in the UK.

The government has launched a UK fund in an attempt to boost struggling towns. The £1.6bn ‘Stronger Towns Fund’ is due to be allocated using a needs-based formula, which communities can bid for. It has been speculated that more than half of the money is to be spread across towns in the North of England and in the Midlands over seven years Although the funding will provide a well-deserved cash injection into many towns, the funding has caused some concerns. One concern is that the bidding for funding encourages competition between places. This sadly contradicts the work underway via the regional mayor models (i.e.-Manchester & Liverpool) that are encouraged to work together collaboratively. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland seem an [...]

Creating routes to employment via markets

Trading Post is a market trading programme that provides support and a pop-up market stall for new businesses in Redbridge to test their idea or sell their product. A new initiative from Work Redbridge, Vision RCL and Ilford BID, the programme was trialled in December 2016. With some adjustments to the programme, 2017 continued as a test opportunity and the scheme is now fully rolled out in conjunction with Amber Markets (a market operator in Ilford). The Trading Post start-up market takes place monthly. Brief Support routes into employment across the borough with a live trading opportunity at Ilford market Encourage first time traders (primarily) into Ilford market and wider trading opportunities (secondly) Add new commodities into the existing market [...]

2019-08-27T15:12:44+01:00February 3rd, 2019|Business support, Enterprise, Markets|