Successful Kettering Town Centre Conference #2

Published: Thursday, 12th March 2020

The successful Town Centre Conference #2, hosted by Kettering Borough Council at the end of Feb, provided local businesses & stakeholders an opportunity to collaborate and shape the future of the town

Over 100 delegates attended, with Councillor Mark Dearing, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, as Chairman. He was delighted to share the stage with Ojay Mcdonald, Chief Executive of the Association of Town City Management, who spoke about how town centres nationally are transitioning, and the importance that both digital and climate change will play in their futures.
 Louise Brooks, Project Director of Meanwhile Space CIC, updated attendees on the successful Kettering Open Doors Pilot, and spoke about opportunities on how landlords can activate empty retail space.

Officers and partners led four interactive workshops, focusing on; 

•    Update & Reflections on the Town Centre Delivery Plan (2018-2025)
•    Station Quarter Engagement  
•    Making our Town Green, and
•    The High Street Heritage Action Zone  
These workshops gave attendees the opportunity to network, hear how key projects are progressing, how feedback from the previous Town Centre Conference in 2017 has shaped activities and to understand plans for the future.

The Ideas Tree was featured throughout the event, where all could contribute innovative ideas on paper ‘leaves’ and place them on the ‘tree’ board.

Kettering Town Centre Partnership, who represent the voice of the local business community and who focus on the town centre, supported the event, supplying information and leaflets to attendees.

Following feedback, 85% of attendees rated the Town Centre Conference as either good or excellent. Thank you to all of the speakers, local partners, businesses, attendees and suppliers who ensured that the conference was a fantastic success.

Rochelle Mathieson, Head of Commercial and Economic Development at Kettering Borough Council, said: “The Town Centre Conference was a fantastic opportunity for local businesses and partners to network, collaborate and share solution-focused ideas on the future of Kettering’s Town Centre. It was great to see resourceful and innovative ideas come through via the workshops, and wonderful to have so many people be part of the conversation.”

Councillor Mark Dearing, Kettering Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: “It is important for local businesses, partners and individuals within Kettering to have the opportunity to learn what is on the agenda for the future of Kettering Town Centre and to contribute their ideas on how best to drive forward. The talks by Ojay Mcdonald and Louise Brooks provided invaluable information which not only demonstrated the national context but positive action happening locally.”

Note to Editor
The Open Doors Pilot Scheme matches landlords struggling to find tenants for their empty properties with community groups looking for space. The spaces are offered free of charge to individuals and organisations who would like to test their ideas, deliver their projects and bring positive social change to their local high street. For more information on the Open Doors Pilot Scheme, visit: