Winchester City Council Cabinet members have met with Mark Robinson, chair of the national High Streets Task Force, to discuss the proposed plans for the Central Winchester Regeneration area.

The chair of the task force was complimentary of the steps the council is taking to ensure the city is ‘future-proofed’; and considered plans are on course to help the district appeal to a broader audience of potential business investors.

Mark Robinson was able to bring to the discussion a range of insights and learnings as well as outlining the key ambitions of the task force as directed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The High Streets Task Force role was created to support local authorities by combining experience across private, public and community-led sectors.

Mark Robinson, Chair of High Streets Task Force, said:

“No-one underestimates the challenges to our town and city centres, but having met with senior figures at Winchester City Council, it’s clear that Winchester is on the right tracks to transforming for future demand.

“It’s great to see that they are using HSTF guidance that the as a basis for best practice and I was really inspired by their vision for a younger, more vibrant mixed-use city centre.  We hope that our research, evidence and data will all go to help support the council in making the necessary positive changes that local residents and businesses have said they want.”

Cllr Kelsie Learney, Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management at Winchester City Council, said:

“We are grateful for the time Mark spent with us to discuss the future of Winchester and how we can best use the opportunities we have to bring a greater number and diversity of people to live, work and play in our city centre, keeping our high street busy and vibrant.

“We look forward to working closely with Mark and the High Streets Task Force to gain further insights as to how we can not only build on our plans for Central Winchester Regeneration but boost our market towns too.”