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Town Centres and Local High Streets

The Town Centres and Local High Streets Learning Network is a cross-Government initiative that supports people and organisations to improve the way Scottish town centres and high streets are made more vital and vibrant and lively. The network gives practical help to organisations and individuals involved in decision-making and providing front-line services.

The network has been developed by the Scottish Centre for Regeneration. It responds to the needs of those working locally to improve town centres and local high streets.

It will better connect a range of people across Scotland, including local-authority regeneration teams, planning and economic development managers; developers; retailers; town-centre managers; Business Improvement District staff; and community representatives.

Please view our members' guide and leaflet for more information.

How do I join?

The guidance page shows you how to join the learning network. If you are already a member of the learning network you can sign in here.

How will it work?

Joining and using the learning network's services is free.

The website's resources include:

  • research and evidence
  • How to Guides, online learning programmes and skills assessment tools
  • good practice case studies from Scotland and elsewhere
  • publications, briefings and learning points setting out lessons learned from previous programmes and events

A dedicated coordinator will work closely with network members to:

  • identify the problems the learning network should tackle
  • collect good practice, evidence of what works and details of people and organisations who have experience in tackling these problems
  • share what has worked, through our website, by organising events that show good practice, and managing interactive online networking
  • support people to build their capacity through developing tailored programmes examining specific problems
  • commission or develop new tools, resources and research where members think there is a gap
  • measure and improve the effectiveness of the learning network

What will the learning network focus on?

It will focus on the Scottish Government's commitment to creating and maintaining vibrant town centres and local high streets, and the value of sharing good practice and lessons learned.

In particular, the network will support activities aimed at helping town centres and local high streets to play a key role in providing services, work and leisure opportunities and in acting as the heart of their communities.

So that it meets your needs, the network will deal with problems that you, the members, identify. After discussions with a range of interested stakeholders, we expect it will initially tackle questions like:

  • how can we identify and capture more comprehensive data on the performance of town centres?
  • how can we better understand the success and potential of different interventions?
  • how can we develop and implement whole-town-centre plans and related strategies?
  • how can we integrate investment and funding strategies to maximise their impact?
  • how can we develop approaches to supporting town centres that are more integrated?
  • how can we engage and reconcile the views of local communities, residents, consumers, businesses and employers?
  • how can we create a sense of place and identity in our town centres and local high streets and tackle decline, including derelict and vacant properties?
  • how can we support diversity of services alongside distinctiveness in our town centres and local high streets?

Lessons learned 2009 - 2011

A briefing paper captures the lessons from the main priorities agreed for the network:

  • town centre and whole town strategies
  • performance management of town centres

>> read the briefing paper