We’re working through the Alliance to attract the investment our cities need. This year, there will be a greater focus on how we make our cities more resilient. There is rightly an increasing shift to green infrastructure and we’re working on that in Dundee and through the Alliance.
High street stalwarts are still weathering the storm and innovative regeneration approaches are succeeding – they are just different to the age-old ‘build it and they will come’.
This will be the year for independent retail as bigger players struggle and traditional leases become irrelevant.
Smaller businesses are giving the larger names a run for their money in Barnsley – they are able to adapt and respond to changing technologies and trends.
Ten successful independent restaurants have opened and we have launched our new market, which is anchoring our town centre in the place of a traditional department store.
Resolution: I have three. My first is to ditch the car and commute by bike and train.
My second is to shift the negativity around the high street. There are certain things you just cannot do online – get your hair cut, for example – and we need to look at ways to integrate these uses into our town centres.
Thirdly, I look forward to doing this with our £180m regeneration of Barnsley town centre, with Queensberry.
David Shepherd, service director regeneration and property, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council