In our Strategic Economic Plan, we set out our objective to ‘develop thriving towns and local centres’.
Whilst Birmingham as a regional core city provides a natural focal point for increasing growth and investment, the surrounding towns and local centres also form a crucial part of the economic fabric of the region.
Our towns and local centres already faced challenges to their competitiveness as they made the transition from a retail dominated core to wider social and leisure hubs, and whilst Covid-19 may have increased the focus on localism and neighbourhood facilities and services, those challenges have also been increased by the pandemic.
To overcome these challenges, we need to support our partners as they take steps to offer a wider variety of opportunities in their towns and local centres, including leisure, culture, and residential facilities and services. To do this, we must recognise the evolving role of local high streets in a post-Covid world, whilst making sure that the new projects we get involved in support a green economic recovery and carbon reduction opportunities. We must also support digital inclusion and adaptation, to reflect the changing world we live in and to build resilience to potential future pandemics.