With co-authors of both Grimsey Reviews, former retailers and winners of the Great British High Streets awards Didobi is uniquely positioned to support towns on their challenging journey of repurposing away from an over dependence of retail to multi use community places where economic, social and environmental value occurs.
Didobi co-created the better towns Roadmap . The roadmap is a journey which towns undertake with the expert #btR consortium to guide and ultimately deliver achievable, actionable projects that will make a meaningful difference to towns and communities. Each junction comprises a set of clear and simple steps that build incrementally towards a series of short, medium and long term goals. It is an evidenced based approach and leverages academic research into people and places.
The client wanted to create an improved and engaged town centre in Worksop (pop. 42,000) due to the decline in the occupation of shops and wider challenges faced by the town, its community, businesses and ‘high street’. The council wanted to have a clear understanding of the issues faced locally and how they relate nationally, make better use of the data available to understand how the town is used and to create greater engagement with the community in its plans to regenerate Worksop.
Didobi was asked to come into the town with a fresh set of eyes and apply its detailed knowledge of trends in retail, examples of best practice and the creation of an evidence base as to how the town was being used and how this will change in the future.
Through a phased approach of visioning, strategy, creation of an evidence base and engagement with the wider community, a town commission was established of 16 people from all areas of the town including the council, employers, police, NHS, transport, retailers, landlords, OAPs, young people, third sector, education, young people, the night time economy and the local business improvement district. Didobi created the terms of reference, a commission pledge and helped establish the formation and development of the commission over a 12 months period to it being an effective and functioning body that is delivering impact in the town.
The project objectives were completed in September 2019 and Didobi is retained on a ‘as and when’ basis to support the Council and Commission and act as a ‘critical friend’ and ‘independent viewpoint’.