Every change is both an opportunity and a threat…it’s up to each place how we deal with change…here are four possibilities to ponder…
We are still part of a United Kingdom but no longer part of a united Europe. Does this mean places across the UK will become more insular with neighbouring towns high streets competing for each other footfall or will regional towns collaborate to promote their place in order to attract more visitors to the areas collective high streets?
Will Brexit empty our high street of EU workers or will our high street service providers adapt their business model to match whatever falls out of the Brexit agreement?
Will the pound fall and attract more foreign tourists to our high street or will the pound fall and reduce consumer spending on our high street?
With the coming of high speed rail links, will the rest of the UK start planning to become a commuter belt for London or will all of the London entrepreneurs relocate and only visit the capital when absolutely necessary?
I hope that you agree that as leaders of place you can only change what you can the rest falls into the ‘out of your control’ or ‘what will be will be’ box.
So as individuals we probably can’t effect Brexit or devolution but we can help strengthen the offer of our place by either focusing on our town/city or on our surrounding cluster of
towns/cities…the choice there is yours.
We probably can’t effect general migration movements in and out of the UK but we can support the local networks that create new business models suited to our place.
We can’t effect the value of the pound but we can support our own high street with our own spending habits …if we don’t spend in our own place then the businesses (large or small) there won’t survive…again the choice is ours.
New businesses set up in areas that most match their needs which include been close to market (physical or online), suitable staff, premises, connectivity and quality of life. If your place can create the right offer, then it will attract new business.
Whatever we choose to do will make a difference. Individually, we can only really change our own place BUT if we all do that then we will change the whole country. Here’s to 2018.
(Previously published in Revive and Thrive Place Magazine Issue 19)