Have your say on the future of the town centres

Residents, businesses and visitors are being encouraged to have their say on the future of the town centres within the Malvern Hills District.

Malvern Hills District Council has now launched a consultation to gather views to guide its five town centre transformation plans. These will be for Barnards Green, Great Malvern, Malvern Link, Tenbury Wells and Upton upon Severn.

The council wants to know how people are using their high streets, what improvements are needed and what can be done to support businesses on the high street now and in the future.

To take part, people are being asked to visit LetsTalk.malvernhills.gov.uk where they can take part in a survey, place ideas on an online board and use an interactive map to show where improvements should go.

The council is working with consultants to launch the consultation and engage with various stakeholders to seek their input

The plans will set out a vision for the future of each retail centre, identifying the different challenges facing each one and the opportunities available. They will then be used to attract inward investment from both the public and commercial sector, as well as guide planning decisions.

The results of the consultation will be ready in January and it is aimed that the plans will be signed off by spring 2022.

The plans are part of the council's Five Year Plan commitment to help revitalise the town centres as they come under attack from the rise of online competitors, out of town retail parks and changing consumer habits.

Cllr Daniel Walton, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development on Malvern Hills District Council, added: "The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the high street, accelerated the move towards online shopping and resulting in the collapse of several big chain stores. While the strong independent shopping scene in the district's retail centres means they are well placed to weather the current storm, the town centres will still need to adapt to survive. I am encouraging everyone to have their say on what the town centres should look like, whether you are a resident, own a business or are a visitor."

Visit LetsTalk.malvernhills.gov.uk to have your say on the town centre plans consultation.

Paper copies of the consultation will also be available from Tourist Information Centres across the district.

Pictured: Cllr Daniel Walton, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development on Malvern Hills District Council, in Upton.
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