Enhanced Knowledge Economy Could Boost Typical UK High Street by £30 Million, Reveals New Think Tank

  • Newly-formed think tank, The Future Spaces Foundation, finds towns and cities could be boosted by up to £30 million through realising the knowledge economy opportunity

LONDON--()--The Foundation’s inaugural report, The Future High Street: Perspectives on living, learning and livelihoods in our communities, uses an economic model with emphasis on business services and the knowledge economy, which was applied to three example UK towns and cities – Barnsley, Swindon and Stoke-on-Trent. In Stoke-on-Trent alone, the annual increase to the local economy was found to reach £30.3 million and the number of new jobs created totalled 642.

Based on these findings, The Future Spaces Foundation is calling for three things:

  • A renewed focus on bringing learning opportunities into the centre of towns and cities when considering the expansion of existing facilities or development of new ones
  • Greater community empowerment in the planning process, including the formation of a youth consultation panel to ensure the opinions of future generations are considered
  • Simplification of planning processes to enable town centre buildings and sites to be converted to uses that match demand

The Future Spaces Foundation was established in 2013 by Ken Shuttleworth, founder of Make Architects, to undertake new thinking to inform the future of the spaces we live in.

The Foundation is made up of an independent panel of experts. The diverse nature of the panel means that the Foundation can explore a wide range of socio-economic, demographic and technological factors that affect the way we live and work and the impact they have on the spaces we live in.

The Future Spaces Foundation panellists are:

Dr Ken Shuttleworth, Founder, Make Architects
John Prevc, Founding Partner, Make Architects
Paul Swinney, Senior Economist, Centre for Cities
Gavin Kelly, Chief Executive, The Resolution Foundation
Alan Davey, Chief Executive, the Arts Council England
Emeka Egbuonu, Community and anti-gang worker and author
Andrew Stevenson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University
Keith Clarke CBE, Built Environment Industry Expert
Stephen Lucas, Economist
James Bellini, Futurologist
Dr Peter Jones, Professor of Transport and Sustainability, University College London
Annemarie Naylor, Director, Common Futures
Sean Gillies, Executive Director, Retail, Savills

Follow us on Twitter: @futurespaces
Download the Foundation’s report at www.futurespacesfoundation.org


Future Spaces Foundation
Robert Arnott


Future Spaces Foundation
Robert Arnott