High Street Expert Supports Drive For Regeneration In South Lakeland

A High Streets Task Force expert visited Kendal to help support moves to transform the town centre.

Placemaking consultant Ben Stephenson was given a presentation and tour on Wednesday, December 16, to hear about exciting plans, challenges and opportunities in the town, including South Lakeland District Council’s £531,294 commitment to support delivery of activities associated with its Kendal Town Centre Strategy and Kendal Futures’ Vision for the town.

Mr Stephenson will deliver an assessment of major barriers to transformation in terms of regeneration: repositioning, reinventing, rebranding and restructuring; and how to respond.

Ben Stephenson in Kendal’s New Shambles.

Kendal was selected as one of the national pilots for the High Street Task Force following South Lakeland District Council’s bid to the government’s Future High Street Fund last year.

Although the initial bid for funding was unsuccessful, the support provided through the ‘Unlocking your Place Potential’ visit could assist in bringing future investment to Kendal.

Stakeholders participating in the event included Kendal Civic Society, Kendal Futures, Kendal Town Council, Cumbria County Council, Kendal BID, Brewery Arts Centre, Cumbria LEP and Kendal College.

Councillor Robin Ashcroft, SLDC’s Portfolio Holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: “The launch and continued development of SLDC’s Kendal Town Centre Strategy and Kendal Future’s Vision for the town – and the potential to roll that model out to other towns in the district – show how serious we are about taking meaningful action to support boost our town centres in an ambitious, innovative and sustainable way.

“I am sure this High Street Task Force visit will further inform and enhance our exciting plans for Kendal’s future.”

The High Streets Task Force describes itself as an alliance of placemaking experts which provides guidance, tools and skills to help communities, partnerships and local government transform their high streets.

The High Streets Task Force was commissioned by the government in 2019 to strengthen local leadership in high streets and town centres in England