Owning the high street: can a cultural and night time recovery serve communities? 

Optional workshop 2 – 4pm

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In this session we will explore how high street recovery plans centred on culture and the night time economy can be refined to ensure that the prosperity they generate reaches the people who need it most 

Participants will work together with experts on a range of tactics and approaches, from community asset transfer to creative and community improvement districts, to create a plan of action to address a live scenario, relating to addressing low occupancy in a town centre as part of Covid-19 recovery. 

PLEASE NOTE: places on this workshop are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Lauren Bond is Sandwell Anchor Network Co-ordinator at CLES. She joined CLES from Sandwell Council earlier this year, and brings a wealth of experience from projects including the Sandwell Aquatics Centre Commonwealth Games 2022 Legacy Plan and the Inclusive Economy Deal.

David Burch is a Senior Researcher at CLES. He joined CLES in 2017 from Oldham Council. David delivers policy, research, membership and consultancy work at CLES as well as managing his own music label.

Dr David Gledhill is Co-Director of Rogue Artists’ Studios CIC in Manchester, the largest artists’ studios in the North of England. He has been a professional artist since graduating in 1981, when he won first prize in the Mid-Wales Open. He has exhibited widely both in the UK and Europe including Frankfurt, Berlin, Milan and Brussels and is a lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Bolton. In addition to his activity as an artist David has contributed writing and reviews to numerous artists’ projects and publications.

Sarah Longlands is the chief executive of CLES. She is an expert in regional and local economic development and argues for economic and social justice and the creation of places which enable people to live good lives. Before joining CLES in 2021, Sarah was Director of IPPR North, the dedicated think tank for the North of England. She previously worked for CLES until 2011 and began her career in local government, working in County Durham and North Yorkshire. She has a PhD in Urban Studies from the University of Glasgow.

  Nick Plumb is Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Power to Change. Nick joined Power to Change in November 2020. He works across a range of policy and public affairs projects for the organisation, helping to make the case for community businesses and the policy change needed to support them. Before joining Power to Change, Nick worked at Locality, the national membership network for community organisations, where he helped to establish the Keep It Local Network.

Liam Ronan-Chlond is engagement and social value lead at mixed-use developer, First Base, supporting an expanding project pipeline across London, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge and Milton Keynes. First Base specialises in placemaking and generating social value through a genuine mix of uses, to revitalise urban centres in core cities across the UK. Liam began his career working for an MP in Manchester, followed by senior policy roles at Sheffield, Brighton and Camden Councils. He has since spent several years supporting a range of major built environment clients with political and stakeholder engagement, public consultation and strategic communications, on projects across the country.