303 research outputs found

    Repositioning the High Street: evidence and reflection from the UK

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    Purpose Drawing on evidence from ten towns (across England, Wales and Northern Ireland) participating in the High Street UK 2020 (HSUK2020) project, the aim of this paper is to reveal how local stakeholders involved in place management respond to High Street decline through a strategy of repositioning. Design/Methodology/Approach This paper identifies the challenges faced by towns considering repositioning, and highlights examples of good practice of relevance to practitioners. First, it outlines perspectives on repositioning from academic research and theory, before drawing on evidence from across ten UK towns who participated in the HSUK2020 project, to reveal how repositioning involves more than just taking a snapshot profile of a place. Findings The research revealed major challenges faced by local stakeholders in clearly identifying and communicating their market position, in particular, the maintenance of up-to-date information on catchments was lacking in all of the locations. Despite having local knowledge and some data, stakeholders still did not possess a clear (or shared) understanding of the identity or function of their towns. This evidence reflects the complexity of analysing and understanding repositioning and developing coherent strategies. Practical Implications Knowledge exchange between stakeholders involved in place management can help inform the identification of new strategic objectives, appropriate interventions, and project planning and delivery. Where resources are limited, particularly in smaller towns and settlements, the research demonstrates the significance of collecting and sharing data and analysis with other stakeholders, because this can generate positive outcomes for all. Originality/Value By offering empirical evidence based on the experience of local practitioners, this paper provides a valuable insight into how town centre stakeholders collect, interpret and analyse data, revealing the challenges, opportunities and practicalities involved in developing and implementing repositioning strategies

    Measuring enterprise impacts upon deprived areas.

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    There has been a growing interest amongst policy makers concerning the role of enterprise development in deprived areas. At present there is a lack of robust empirical evidence to demonstrate the actual contribution of enterprises to the alleviation of deprivation. While many existing studies rely on measuring the number of jobs created, this report presents a new methodology for measuring the contribution of different types of enterprises to disadvantaged areas using a wide range of economic and social indicators. The report begins by offering a conceptual overview of the types of impacts. The framework recognises the range of impacts received by a wide range of stakeholders, as shown in the figure below. The issue of enterprise success in deprived areas offers the promise of uniting the Government’s interests of economic competitiveness, social inclusion and neighbourhood renewal. In addition to a wide range of local and regional government policy, the types of national policy include: the Small Business Service’s Phoenix Fund and Business Link support services, the Department for Education and Skills’ New Entrepreneur Scholarship scheme, the Department for Work and Pensions’ New Deal for the Self-employed, H.M. Treasury’s Stamp Duty Relief, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Business Improvement Districts, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ support for rural businesses as well as many other non governmental initiatives aimed at enterprise development in deprived areas

    The crisis of public sector trade unionism: evidence from the Mid Staffordshire hospital crisis

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    This article contends that there is a growing, if uneven, crisis in public sector trade unionism masked by relatively high membership figures that obscure a weakening of trade unions in the workplace, leaving hollowed out organisation vulnerable to further legislative and employer-led onslaughts. The weakening is not inevitable but to overcome it requires a refocusing of organising efforts on the everyday concerns of members such as understaffing and the provision of better public services. Only with an engaged membership will national issues and wider campaigns have material force. Having outlined a general argument, the article takes as illustrative the nature and performance of trade unions, and particularly UNISON, during the Mid Staffordshire hospital crisis

    The geographies of access to enterprise finance: the case of the West Midlands, UK

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    The geographies of access to enterprise finance: the case of the West Midlands, UK, Regional Studies. Whilst there is a long history of credit rationing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, the financial crisis has seen banks retreat further from lending to viable SMEs due to a reassessment of risk and lack of available capital. In so doing, the credit crunch is thought to be creating new geographies of financial exclusion. This paper explores the financial inclusion of enterprise through community development finance institutions (CDFIs) which provide loan finance to firms at the commercial margins in the West Midlands, UK. The paper concludes that CDFIs could partially address the financial exclusion of enterprise as an additional, alternative source of finance to that of mainstream banks
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