Barnet High St has lost its identity. Once a prosperous market town it now has a high vacancy rate and fast churn of retailers, with 12 charity shops filling the vacant spaces. Behind so many ugly and crude frontages there are attractive buildings with interesting histories just waiting to be revealed.
We have a Town Centre Strategy objective to work towards improving the down at heel look of our town and are seeking to engage with traders to encourage them to up their act on presentation. Our project will give this exemplar shop a vibrant and customer friendly new look. It will help to increase footfall and tempt shoppers in to appreciate what is on offer. The finished product will demonstrate to other retailers that they too can once again help to make Barnet an attractive and aspirational destination which all who live work and study here can be proud of.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
It is important that the decline of the town is halted so that residents do not always travel to more attractive locations to shop. Town Team members have visited other towns and suburbs to see what improvements have been achieved there and how we can use the ideas here.Our idea will succeed because we have a strong vision with practical, tangible steps to make it happen.
By partnering with Health Matters, a local independent health food shop, to redesign their shop front in line with our vision we can demonstrate a clear example of success from making our vision real and showing the impact on footfall that an attractive outlook can have.
We have already researched contact details for many freeholders/leaseholders in town so that we are ready to engage with them. Our visualisations for other shops in need of action will help us persuade them that they too can succeed.
Steps to get it done:
When doing preparatory work for the three pop up shops we learned a lot about managing and motivating contractors to complete well and on time especially in difficult winter weather as this project will inevitably suffer. We anticipate that that and the experience of this project will help when we attempt more properties in partnership with staff and students from Barnet College. They assisted with work in the pop up shops and it proved good work experience for them. Barnet Council is also enthusiastic about our idea. It contributes to the Action Plan for our Town Centre Strategy and they will offer guidance through our project and help us in any way they can.
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