Future hopes for the high street discussed

Pictured at the 'Sharing Experience, Shaping the Future' Regeneration Conference in Lisburn is the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Uel Mackin; Retail Futurist and keynote speaker Howard Saunders and Chairman of the Development Committee, Alderman William Leathem.
Pictured at the 'Sharing Experience, Shaping the Future' Regeneration Conference in Lisburn is the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Uel Mackin; Retail Futurist and keynote speaker Howard Saunders and Chairman of the Development Committee, Alderman William Leathem.

Keynote Speaker and Retail Futurist Howard Saunders led a panel of experts at the ‘Sharing Experience, Shaping the Future’ regeneration conference, hosted by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council recently.

With his high energy delivery and engaging content Howard spoke about how “Our town centres are in the middle of a revolution as retailers collapse under pressure from all sides.”

The conference brought influential figures together to share a positive insight into the future of urban regeneration and place shaping across the UK, focusing on Northern Ireland. Head of Economics, Richard Laming and Director of Strategic Communications, John Davison from Planning and Development Consultancy Turley presented their vision for the future of town centres while Steve Peel of the Urban Innovation Company gave an insight into the opportunities for developing Smart Cities. Pioneering initiatives in Lisburn City Centre were also explored with award-winning Sarah Munn, founder and owner of community space Penny Square.

The Mayor, Councillor Uel Mackin, said: “To host this forward-thinking conference in Lisburn shows the council’s commitment to shaping the future of our urban landscape. The advice from all our speakers is that we need to change our way of thinking in terms of reinventing our town and city centres and that the high street is far from dead.”

Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee, Alderman William Leathem, added: “Thinking creatively and working alongside the private sector is key to driving forward a new future where people come together for many reasons in our city centres and towns.”