Managing Town Centre Partnerships

A guide for practitioners

Managing Town Centre Partnerships

A guide for practitioners

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

October 2008

Department for Communities and Local Government

Communities and Local Government

Eland House

Bressenden Place



Telephone: 020 7944 4400


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October 2008

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Foreword 


In 2005 this Department published a guide on how to manage town centres, which explained why effective management of town centres is essential for enhancing and sustaining their vitality and viability, and highlighted the role of town centre partnerships in promoting the successful management of town and city centres.

Over the last three years we have seen an increased focus on devolving powers to local partnerships, empowering people to have a greater say in how local public services are delivered, and recognition of the role of locally-based management structures in focusing regeneration and renewal around the needs of communities and neighbourhoods.

More and more areas are using town centre management to bring about real change through coordinated and pro-active action. Communities and Local Government, and its predecessor departments, have provided practical support and policy guidance such as the how to series and Planning Policy Statement 6 on planning for town centres.

The Business and Town Centres project was commissioned to draw on the knowledge and experience of practitioners, and to highlight the benefits of business engagement and town centre partnerships. As a two year action learning project involving 21 town and city centres across England, it has shown how the development of more formal partnership arrangements enables a more strategic and robust management of local places, with the potential to make a much bigger contribution to enhancing our town centres.

This guide draws together the collective experience and knowledge of those 21 areas, and provides practitioners with a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to go about developing sustainable town centre partnerships. It provides a model for partnership development in town centres, one that is valued by the business community, and is rooted in practical experience. It focuses on sustainability, and can be adapted to the needs of different areas – from market towns to cities and industrial areas.

We offer the guide as a contribution to the growing body of good practice in town centre management, and as a resource that will be of use to existing town centre practitioners, areas that want to strengthen existing partnership arrangements, and areas that want to explore the practicalities of town centre management for the first time.

The importance and relevance of town centre management to the challenges we face in improving the quality of our public spaces is clear. Here we present advice and tools that will enable more and better town centre management for the benefit of local businesses and communities alike.

Baroness Andrews OBE
Communities and Local Government


Foreword 


We would like to acknowledge the contribution of all Town and City Centre Partnership selected to be involved in the project: Broxtowe, Blackpool, Bristol, Chester, Colchester, Derby, Erdington, Grimsby, Havant, Lancaster, Melton Mowbray, Newcastle, Peckham, Redcar, Stockport, Taunton, Tottenham, Trafford, Wood Green, Worksop and the South Bank Employers Group who joined the project in May 2007.

We would like to thank members of the Sounding Board who played an active role in the project: Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), British BIDs, Civic Trust, British Institute of Innkeepers (BII), National Retail Planning Forum (NRPF), Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), Bar Entertainment & Dance Association (BEDA), Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Neighbourhood Policing Programme, Reading UK CIC, and the Local Government Association (LGA).

In addition, we would like to acknowledge the contribution of a broad range of experienced practitioners who participated in events and workshops and provided input and feedback to the practitioners guide: Alliance Boots Plc, Marks and Spencer, Institute of Place Management (IPM), and the New Economics Foundation (NEF).

Finally we would like to thank PricewaterhouseCoopers for their work in leading this project.


Contents 




Chapter 1: Introduction11

1.1The benefits of town centre partnerships11

1.2Developing strong TCPs: a framework for this guide11

1.3How to use this guide13

Chapter 2: Working in Partnership14


2.2Understanding the partnership’s role in the town centre15

2.3Understanding the partnership’s public-private balance22

2.4Understanding the partnership’s formality25

2.5Bringing formality and public-private balance together27

2.6Understanding the changing policy context for TCPs30

2.7Planning the partnership’s development33

2.8Where to go from here?33

Chapter 3: Stakeholder Engagement35


3.2Step One: Identify38

3.3Step Two: Analyse40

3.4Step Three: Plan and Do43

3.5Step Four: Review53

Chapter 4: Strategy and Performance Management55


4.2Step 1 – Knowing the town centre’s needs59

4.3Step 2 – Knowing where to go61

4.4Step 3 – Developing the strategy62

4.5Step 4 – This is how to set about doing it66

4.6Step 5 – Developing strategic measures70

4.7Step 6 – Performance reporting75

Chapter 5: Governing a Town Centre Partnership77


5.2Understanding the core structures and roles of Town Centre Partnerships80

5.3Form a Town Centre Partnership board83

5.4Choose a TCP board chair85

5.5Set up and appoint to a town centre manager or equivalent87

5.6Set up membership for the TCP88

5.7Formalise links in the local landscape90

5.8Set up the partnership’s terms of reference93

5.9Employing a partnership vehicle97

Chapter 6: Funding and Financial Management102


6.2Success Factor 1: A funding strategy108

6.3Success Factor 2: A portfolio of funding112

6.4Success Factor 3: A fundable partnership115

6.5Success Factor 4: Delivery through sound financial management119

Chapter 7: Case studies125

7.1Setting up a partnership125

7.2Developing alliances in your partnership landscape129

7.3Marketing the Town Centre Partnership133

7.4Engaging the business community in your BID campaign138

7.5The fragile nature of partnerships142

7.6Developing a town centre business plan145

7.7Taking stock of the partnership development149

7.8Developing a partnership’s formality153

7.9Developing a mixed portfolio of funding157

Chapter 8: Tools for Developing Partnerships161

Tool 1: Overview of the Business and Town Centres Project161

Tool 2: List of key organisations in the partnership landscape163
and potential partnership members

Tool 3: Assessing your partnership’s degree of impact166

Tool 4: Self-assessment tool to determine your partnership’s degree of formality167

Tool 5: Plotting TCP’s170

Tool 6: Partnership development roadmap171

Tool 7: Challenge checklist: are your stakeholders engaged?172

Tool 8: Developing a CRM database174

Tool 9: Sample stakeholder analysis sheet175

Tool 10: Local media usage by Taunton Town Centre Company176

Tool 11: Stakeholder engagement planning templates177

Tool 12: Key indicators relevant to TCPs179

Tool 13: Town Centre Vision examples181

Tool 14: Developing a vision182

Tool 15: Examples of performance reporting184

Tool 16: Developing complex structures (examples)185

Tool 17: Town centre manager job description (example)189

Tool 18: Constitution/Terms of Reference Framework for a190
Town Centre Partnership

Tool 19: Features of different company types195

Tool 20: Key challenges through each stage of funding formality199

Tool 21: Sustainable funding self-assessment202

Tool 22: TCP sources of funding204

Tool 23: Web links to funding sources210

Tool 24: Core funding type link to funding formality stages211

Tool 25: Using the core funding model (an example)212

Tool 26: Financial Health checklist214

Tool 27: Bibliography and further reading216

Tool 28: Glossary of acronyms218


Contents 

List of Figures


Figure 1.1Five areas of partnership formality13

Figure 2.1What role should TCPs play in their town centres?15

Figure 2.2Beeston Town Centre Partnership landscape16

Figure 2.3Partnership landscape analysis table17

Figure 2.4Self-assessment and Action table18

Figure 2.5Common town and city centre partnership remits19

Figure 2.6Example activities20

Figure 2.7Examples of partnerships expanding their remit20

Figure 2.8Examples of a partnership focusing its efforts22

Figure 2.9Support for a business-led partnership23

Figure 2.10Self-assessment questions to determine a partnership’s24
degree of business leadership

Figure 2.11Key areas of partnership development26

Figure 2.12Partnership classification matrix27

Figure 2.13Moving to the formal/private quadrant29

Figure 2.14Increasing role of local leadership and partnerships31

Figure 2.15Actions to be considered by TCPs in response to32
changing policy context

Figure 3.1Stakeholder engagement process37

Figure 3.2Stakeholder engagement formality stages38

Figure 3.3Key groups of stakeholders to consider39

Figure 3.4Sources of stakeholder influence41

Figure 3.5Influence/Support matrix42

Figure 3.6Engagement Model43

Figure 3.7Marketing as a tool for engagement45

Figure 3.8An example of working across sectors to achieve successful outcomes46

Figure 3.9Examples of services businesses may be looking for from a48
town centre partnership

Figure 3.10Top tips for successful business engagement50

Figure 3.11Engaging the media52

Figure 4.1Components of a Strategy and Performance Management framework57

Figure 4.2S&PM formality stages58

Figure 4.3Strategic fit for CCM Derby60

Figure 4.4Impact of TCPs62

Figure 4.5SMART Objectives63

Figure 4.6Perspectives from a balanced scorecard approach64

Figure 4.7The Balanced Scorecard65

Figure 4.8Redeveloping a strategy66

Figure 4.9Identifying gaps in the delivery of objectives (example)68

Figure 4.10Sharing the ‘Reading Experience’69

Figure 4.11Using popular indicators71

Figure 4.12Types of measures and data72

Figure 4.13Creating strategic measures73

Figure 4.14Developing strategic measures in Lincoln74

Figure 5.1Seven key elements of effective town centre partnership governance78

Figure 5.2Governance and delivery capacity formality stages79

Figure 5.3Typical TCP structure80

Figure 5.4Governing and delivery roles for TCP structures81

Figure 5.5What value does a town or city management board provide83
to the partnership?

Figure 5.6Top-10 tips when recruiting partnership board members85

Figure 5.7Choosing an effective TCP board chair86

Figure 5.8Example scenario in selecting a chair86

Figure 5.9What is the role of a town centre manager?87

Figure 5.10Benefits of membership89

Figure 5.11Engaging with LSPs91

Figure 5.12Situations where the appointment to a role in the partnership96
could be terminated

Figure 5.13Considering employing a company vehicle for the partnership?97

Figure 5.14Benefits of incorporation for partnership growth issues99

Figure 6.1The ‘Non Virtuous Funding Circle’103

Figure 6.2Reliance on BID levy103

Figure 6.3Success factors for sustainable funding104

Figure 6.4The importance of a funding strategy105

Figure 6.5Funding sustainability formality stages106

Figure 6.6Figure exemplifying initial budgeting and identification of109
funding gaps

Figure 6.7Criteria to analyse funding sources111

Figure 6.8Types of expenditure description and examples113

Figure 6.9Core funding types and uses114

Figure 6.10Promoting TCP achievements118

Figure 6.11Fundability checklist119

Figure 6.12Elements of a good financial management framework120


Chapter 1 Introduction 

Chapter 1


“Sustainable management of town and city centres depends on creating successful partnerships – both strategic and operational – to approach local issues with a shared vision”
ODPM (2005)How to Manage Town Centres

1.1The benefits of town centre partnerships

The foundation and development of Town and City Centre Partnerships (TCP) is a recognised practice in many localities across England. Partnerships are created in response to complex and multifaceted problems that cannot be tackled effectively by an individual or single organisation; they therefore have the potential to deliver real benefits to town centres.

The following outlines the key benefits that a TCP can provide:

  • create a forum to engage local stakeholders in discussion and collaboration
  • shape and influence organisational agendas to develop a shared strategic approach to town centre development
  • deliver baseline services and/or provide a channel for additional services and enhanced service delivery
  • facilitate access to multiple funding and resource opportunities to enhance town centres
  • in addition, a TCP can provide flexibility, innovation and additional financial and human capital resources to help solve problems, all of which are powerful incentives for organisations to work together to benefit the town centre, local communities and businesses.

1.2Developing strong TCPs: a framework for this guide

The Business and Town Centres Project was commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government in March 2006. A two year programme of action learning, this focused on developing sustainable partnerships for the management of town and city centres. Twenty TCPs were selected to participate, including a range of small town

centres and large city centres. The partnerships ranged from newly developed to well establish organisations, providing a fertile environment for development and learning[1]. The research was broadened significantly through the sustained involvement of other key stakeholders and experienced practitioners, cited throughout the guide.

The project highlighted that the capability and performance of TCPs varies significantly throughout the country. While there are many examples of good practice, some areas of weakness exist. These are typically in areas such as demonstrating added value, influence or good governance, all of which can be sources of risk to the effective management of town and city centres. Successful partnerships demonstrate accountability and have a sustainable basis on which to develop and improve.

From this learning evolved a framework for the development of partnerships. This framework is based on building the partnership around two key dimensions: the formality and the balance of public/private stakeholders. The formality is defined and developed through five key elements: targeted stakeholder engagement, an evidence based strategy and action plan, a performance management framework, clear governance arrangements and a robust financial management framework. These five key areas form the building blocks of this guide. Development across these areas makes it possible for TCPs to consolidate their role, expand their remit, react to the policy context and engage the public and the private sector.

This guide has been developed to provide practitioners a comprehensive and practical guide to the development of town centre partnerships. It consolidates and builds on the collective knowledge and experience of the town centre management community:

  • it begins, in Chapter 2, by introducing three key contextual elements that are fundamental for any town centre partnership: the policy landscape affecting TCPs, the role that the TCP plays in the town centre and the way that the TCP balances representations from the private and the public sector. It also introduces the framework for the development of partnership formality
  • it then provides detailed ‘how to…’ guidance around the five key areas of partnership formality,[2] which need to be addressed by TCPs to develop their formality and sustainability. Figure 1.1 presents each of the areas of partnership development addressed through this guide.

Figure 1.1 Five areas of partnership formality

Area of partnership formality / Chapter number / Chapter in summary...
Stakeholder Engagement / 3 / This chapter covers the degree of engagement with stakeholders and the maturity of the engagement processes. It will support you to engage stakeholders from the public, private and community sectors through analysing, planning, doing and reviewing your engagement activities.
Strategy and Action Planning / 4 / This chapter will support you in developing a strategy and performance management framework for your town centre. It provides a step-by-step approach to understanding the context, developing a vision, objectives and initiatives. It links strategy to performance through the development of performance measures and a reporting framework.
Performance Management
Governance and Delivery capacity / 5 / This chapter focuses specifically on the accountability structures and processes that govern the partnership. It will support you in setting up and allocating roles to each of the TCP’s basic structures, developing governance systems, choosing a partnership vehicle and managing change to allow for partnership development.
Funding and Financial Management / 6 / This chapter covers the extent to which the partnership has access to multiple funding sources and sound financial management systems. It provides a step-by-step approach to developing a funding strategy, building a mixed funding portfolio, making your partnership more fundable and implementing a financial management system.

1.3How to use this guide

All areas of partnership development are equally important and interdependent; this means that to have a successful partnership in the long term, it is important to address each of the five areas of partnership development simultaneously and on an ongoing basis. This guidance has been developed for use by practitioners involved in setting up and developing Town Centre Partnerships. Readers are encouraged to use this guide as a tool for the ongoing development of TCPs, accessing the different chapters, case studies and tools to challenge current approaches and plot a development path for their partnership.


Chapter 1 Introduction 

Chapter 2

Working in Partnership

At the end of this chapter, readers will know how to:
  • clarify the role of a town centre partnership
  • develop a business-led partnership that balances the interests and contributions of the public, private and community sectors
  • clarify the formality of a partnership around five key dimensions including stakeholder engagement, strategy and performance management, governance and sustainable funding
  • map a path for the development of a TCP
  • prepare to take advantage of the shifting policy landscape.


This chapter introduces some of the fundamental issues which shape the development of town centre partnerships. In particular, it provides a framework to assessthe current state of a TCP and plan its future development across four areas:

1.The partnership’s role in the town centre

A TCP which is clear about its role in the town centre can develop clear action-oriented relationships with key individuals and organisations that influence the town centre

2.The partnership’s public-private balance

Developing partnerships which are business-led and maintain a balance with the public sector increases the chances of identifying and addressing the key issues facing the town centre

3.The partnership’s degree of formality

A TCP that develops its formality is better equipped to mitigate risks, take advantage of opportunities (eg funding) and achieve sustainable impacts in the town centre

4.The key policy issues shaping the future of town centre management

The national policy context is constantly changing and presenting TCPs with new strategic issues to consider. The TCPs which are aware of this context have more potential to translate issues into opportunities.

Figure 2.1What role should TCPs play in their town centres?

  • bring together the different organisations and agendas that are relevant for the town centre’s success and lead the development of an agreed town centre strategy
  • steer and guide decision-making to support baseline services enhancement
  • negotiate agreements to deliver baseline services when it is best placed to do so
  • envision and deliver additional services in the town centre
  • facilitate synergies and coordination between existing organisations working for the town centre, rather than compete with other bodies, to bring additionality and foster economies of scale; and
  • develop business-led partnerships that work in the interests of the whole community, rather than just one group (eg not just business interests).
Source: BTCP consultation

2.2Understanding the partnership’s role in the town centre