ATCM 2018 Mid Year Review

24 Jul 2018

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We’ve been busy! At the start of 2018, we moved to our new four-point business plan, providing our members with Knowledge Exchange, Representation, Standards, and Added Value.
Here’s what we’ve done so far this year….

Through our events, we have engaged with over 400 people from across the place management industry.

Knowledge Exchange

We’ve delivered:

  • 15 ATCM events this calendar year already, across the UK and Ireland. 
  • A successful inaugural Place Management Conference themed on ‘Violence and Vulnerability;
  • Rejuvenated Summer School with some of the highest numbers for our 2018 conference seen in years for delegate numbers, sponsor participation and Town and City Management Industry Award submissions;
  • Overseen the return of the ATCM Cites Group (co-chaired by CityCo and Glasgow City Council) and launching the inaugural ATCM Cities Summit which will be themed on ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution?’;
  • Engaged with over 400 industry practitioners through events. 
  • Extensive peer-to-peer support delivered through Basecamp. 

The 2018 ATCM Place Management Conference, 'Violence and Vulnerability', brought together councils, BIDs, Business Crime Reduction Partnerships, Police, security professionals, counter-terrorism specialists, and many others to discuss safety in town centres. 


Katy Fuller, Joint CEO and Creative Director of Absolutely Cultured (formerly City of Culture 2017) was our keynote speaker for Summer School in June.


This includes:

  • Raising the profile of business rates reform through the national media. 
  • Worked with the Shadow Minster for Town Centres to illuminate the issues of homelessness on town centres.
  • Issued a statement on behalf of border towns in Ireland to influence the Brexit negotiations.
  • Responded to key consultations such as the HCLG Select Committee Inquiry ‘High Street 2030’ and the London Plan.
  • Supported the Safe Spaces Parliamentary Reception led by the Local Alcohol Partnerships Group.
  • Engaged in a European-wide consortium of place management organisations to support town centres.

Leigh Brown and Ojay McDonald meet with the Chair of the APPG for Town Centres, Jim McMahon MP, the Shadow Minister for Local Government and Devolution


The APPG for Town Centres convene to discuss Local Responses to High Street Homelessness at the House of Commons


Leigh Brown and Ojay McDonald meet with Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive of Retail NI, to discuss common policy issues including business rates and Brexit


The ATCM Advisory Council meets with the New West End Company including the Chair, Sir Peter Rogers, and Director of External Affairs, Paul Barnes, to discuss proposals for business rates reform. The meeting was chaired by Stefan Gurney, Executive Director of Norwich BID and involved ATCM members from across the country. 



This includes: 

  • Growing Purple Flag domestically 
  • Growing the Purple Flag Universities and Colleges Programme 
  • Preparing for the international expansion of Purple Flag 
  • Launching the Great Places Accreditation to pathfinders 

Purple Flag goes from strength to strength as it grows domestically with the launch of the Universities and Colleges Programme, and gains greater recognition globally as the gold standard for evening and night-time economies.


Purple Flag Programme Manager, Sarah Walker, has been exploring the evolution of the accreditation, meeting key industry leaders such as Amy Lamé, London's first Night Czar and Aberdeen Inspired's Nicola Marie Johnston, one of the UK's first dedicated ENTE Managers.  


The Town and City Management Awards for 2018 received nearly 50 submissions making it one of the most competitive years ever. New categories such a Best Arts and Culture Scheme and Best Social and Community Contribution reflect the diversity of roles undertaken by ATCM's membership. 


Added Value

We have delivered collaborations with key industry bodies, including:

  • The Cross River Partnership; 
  • The Local Government Association; 
  • The Royal Town Planning Institute; 
  • Culture24; 
  • The Local Alcohol Partnership Group; 
  • National Market Traders Federation; 
  • The Institute of Place Management; 
  • The BID Foundation; 
  • The Heritage Council; and 
  • Many Others… 

We’ve also delivered exclusive membership benefits with:

Clockwork City; B-Cam; Meercats; Destination; Springboard; Nippabout; The Retail Group; Elephant WiFi; Silvermaze; and Storecheckers

Ojay was involved in a panel debate on museums in the evening and night time economy and how they can be used as a catalyst for town centre footfall after dark. Other organisations represented on the panel included the Night Time Industries Association, the Department for Culture, Media and Sports and airbnb. 


ATCM secures a month's free remote support from Meercat Associates exclusively for members to help drive cost reductions for high street businesses. This is one of many added value benefits being lined up with the help of suppliers.


All this and it’s only half time. Despite the hard work, we are not downing tools to take a breather during the Summer. We will be working on putting together some more fabulous events for the remainder of the year, doing more policy work, rolling out the Great Places Accreditation and lining up more great deals with suppliers.

Follow us at and @ATCMUK to find out more.