Market Rasen must “reposition” itself

Mary Portas during her visit to Market Rasen earlier this year ENGEMN00120130309110300
Mary Portas during her visit to Market Rasen earlier this year ENGEMN00120130309110300
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High Street experts have again met with MR BIG to see how Market Rasen can help its high street.

Now, they are planning a meeting in the New Year for the town to discover more about itself and help it come up with ideas.

Simon Quin, director of the Institute of Place Management, which has been working with MRBIG as part of the Portal Pilot initiative, said there are 25 factors towns need to focus on, with the main four being Repositioning, Reinventing, Rebranding and Restructuring.

“We think each town needs to audit itself in these areas to assess whether it is doing the best job it could,” he said.

For Market Rasen, the issue was repositioning, with his organisation planning a January event in Market Rasen to see how the experts can work with the town.

At present, he said, people don’t know enough about their towns, what shops are available, what’s happening in the area, whether people or businesses are moving in or out.

Thus, a “body of knowledge” is needed and only by having it, will the experts have a better idea of how they can help.

“While people in MR BIG have their own ideas, we need to tap into the ideas of the wider community - residents, businesses, people in the public sector,” he said.

“A centre needs to understand what it needs to do to make it resilient and how it can develop a clear strategy for accommodating future trends,” he said.

“We are also developing forecasting models for each town which we will be discussing with those we are working with in the next few weeks. This will identify how defined changes can improve the future performance of the centre.”

MR BIG Administrator Sadie Richardson said the group was awaiting a report from the Institute of Place Management and the related High Street 2020 experts, which will detail the 25 factors for main street success, based on research of towns going back over centuries.

“They are going to try and predict what will happen in towns and in Market Rasen. They will produce a separate report for each town. They want to set up a meeting with us and stakeholders in January,” she added.