Embracing Retail Growth for Birmingham

Birmingham’s City Council is launching a 6 week public consultation setting out their vision for core retail strategy in the City.  The Council have brought the document out after ‘extensive stakeholder engagement’.

I attended the presentation earlier this week and the proposals seem to be well received and a positive step forward.  Having emerged from recession a couple of years ago and with growth again in retail take up, then the foundations for the City Retail Vision should probably be in place already.  However, the city’s aims to get key projects moving all depend on infrastructure and digging up the roads. Therefore the city is in the painful stage of disruption while this happens!

What the strategy appears to be suggesting does seem quite sensible.  Retail these days is about making the whole ‘Retail destination experience’ as pleasing as possible.  From street architecture to transport convenience to retailer choice and mix there are a host of factors that add up to making successful retail areas.  The improvements to the New Street and High Street areas are what I consider to be the most beneficial to the plan.

The City Council talk about reinforcing existing strengths and having distinctive character.  Delivering high quality attractive environments with walkways and places that create a unique and diverse offer.

Importantly it recognises the need to revitalise key streets and including a mix of leisure, family entertainment, food and beverage.

The Council have produced a guide to the plan as well as publicising their plans on the internet.  Making a contribution with our retail and developer clients will be very important for us as we grow our own distinct and diverse retail offer!


David Walton