Town’s high street under the spotlight

Queen Street, Morley
Queen Street, Morley

Morley has been under the spotlight in a new research method to analyse change in the high street, developed by experts from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

The project was launched in January and a workshop in the town was recently held with key local representatives, including Morley’s town events manager Rachel Kennedy, to discuss the initial findings.

It was found that only around a third of the factors that impact upon high street performance can be managed locally. It was hosted at Morley Town Hall with experts from the university, traders, council officers and other high street stakeholders.

Rachel said: “This national research programme is very timely for Morley as we are reinventing our town with our key stakeholders.”

James Bailey, of the White Rose Shopping Centre, added: “Morley is a town with great potential. The workshop presented a great model for identifying key areas of opportunity and our priorities for action.”

The workshop in Morley is one of 10 being held where retail research is exchanged. The workshops are backed up by a national conference tomorrow and an online support centre. These resources are free to the high street partners, giving unrivalled access to research normally unattainable by local partnerships.

The research team was awarded a £112,000 grant from the Economic and Social Research Council with £140,000 investment coming from partners, including footfall data specialists Springboard.