Funding and financial management oils the wheels of local revitalisation and needs to be considered in a number of ways by councils both directly and in how they support partnership development.
To boost activity and provide stability to partnerships, as key partners it is helpful if councils can be clear about their long-term commitment in cash and other in-kind support. This will help underpin other fund raising.
It is important to be clear about the costs necessary to run effective partnerships and secure such revenue costs to avoid unnecessary distraction from delivery.
Effective financial planning including fund raising, budgeting, project management, capital costs, income generation and maintenance need to be provided for to ensure successful project delivery and local impact.
Ensuring sustained benefits from projects and investments requires a sophisticated understanding of how town centres work as businesses and the ‘connected value’ for example between parking provision, better public spaces, increased footfall from events, land assembly for development and a diversified business mix. Councils have an important role in sustaining such investment through their strategic planning remit, provision of improved services and as property owners.
Exploring new models of investment
The IPM Recovery Framework recognises that out of the necessities created by the COVID-19 crisis it is possible that new public-private partnerships, including social & cultural entrepreneurship and innovative grassroot solutions may emerge. It is important that such entrepreneurship and partnerships are encouraged.
In a very challenging environment, funding and financial management for town centre revitalisation needs to support effective partnership development and focused delivery. Necessity may require new models of joint working including investment in community-owned assets to help re-open and re-use empty premises. Funding and investment should be focused on short-term fixes to aid recovery and contribute long-term, sustainable solutions that boost town centre vitality and viability.