Image demonstrating Hub focuses on future of market towns

Hub focuses on future of market towns

The Hexham Hub has welcomed a seminar focusing on the future of town centres.
The Hub is a recently formed partnership between Northumberland County Council, Hexham Town Council, Hexham Community Partnership, Advance Northumberland and other stakeholders in the town.
The seminar was led by the Institute for Local Governance (ILG) and posed the question of how to strengthen the wellbeing of market towns across the rural north and Borderlands of England and Scotland.
The event at the Beaumont Hotel drew over 50 delegates and speakers with an interest in improving towns from the North East, Cumbria and Scottish Borders. 
Councillor Wearmouth, Cabinet member for Economic Development, chaired the session which included contributions from Newcastle University looking at the town centre agenda in rural areas, the Federation of Small Business on the contribution of small business to social wellbeing and civil society. 
There was also input from Kolek Consulting on supporting business development strategies in rural areas, Scottish Borders Council on town centre regeneration and Lichfields on the revitalisation of town centres in North East England.
The seminar explored how town centres have been under the spotlight recently as the economic viability of high streets have been put under intense pressure due to the changing patterns of consumer demand and behaviour. 
 It explored how there remain huge opportunities in areas including public service provision, leisure activities, events and socialising opportunities. The seminar highlighted not just economic vibrancy, but also quality of life, community development, business engagement and place making.
Councillor Wearmouth said: “This seminar was a great opportunity for Hexham Hub and the County Council to support new thinking.  
“It was a helpful event to bring partners together from across the area to reflect on practice from leading practioners to see how we work together to renew our town centres for the future.”
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