Current Support for Town Teams

ATCM, thanks to funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) offered support to Town Teams and local partnerships from April 2013 to April 2015. Below, you will find a large selection of DIY tools, guides and downloads to help you on your journey by clicking on the relevant chapter. You may also be interested in reviewing 100 Ways to Help the High Street, ATCM's free online information portal.

Firm Foundations

Running a Town Team

Marketing, PR & Communication

Markets, Events & Popups

Powers & Tools

Regional Social & Economic Data

Firm Foundations

Every place has a personality, shaped by the users and uses within it. Getting to know the personality of your area is an important early step in developing meaningful, sustainable plans. Who uses your High Street? What do they want? What sort of people live nearby, and how do they travel to you? The following guides are all designed to help you answer those questions and more as you begin to develop a business plan.

Great Places are made up of Great People, Great Ideas and Great Spaces. Read this handy guide from ATCM and Living Streets on why great spaces matter and how to go about creating them.

Town Centre Personality Test - use our 8 question 'personality test' to help your Town Team get to know a little more about your local area. ATCM also runs a day-long workshop to help you through this process - click here for more information.

Measuring Impact - this simple document will take you through, in DIY detail, how you can measure impact for a range of items. Use these to help you build an evidence-based business plan and prove to yourself and your community your effort is helping to make your place great.

Town Centre HealthCheck - ATCM runs the Town Centre HealthCheck tool - an online resource that lets you look into the strenght and perception of various parts of your local centre. Town Teams get three of the eight modules free. Alternatively, you can read this report and their DIY toolkit on assessing how healthy your High Street is.

Town Team Member Skills Audit - use this free template to see what expertise is sitting around you in your Town Team meetings. This can help you match the right people to the right project, and also see where you may need further support.

DIY Resilience Review - Imagine your town centre without any retailers; now how many of the units would still be active? Developed with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, this DIY guide will help you investigate any imbalances within your town centre, and a later guide will give you advice on how to develop a healthy, diverse and vibrant High Street.

ATCM Public Space Evaluation - This simple checklist will help you highlight any opportunities to improve your town centre's convenience, appeal and safety. Why not run this alongside the DIY Resilience Review, above?

It's important to think about the longer term future of your town centre, so working with CLES, we have produced a summary of the experience in nine locations about how each one could plan for a more resilient area. Read it here.


Running a Town Team

Running a Town Team may feel like a full-time job. For some people, it will be. For others, they will have to fit it around family, business and other commitments. But no matter who you are, there are some simple governance tools and techniques below that will help ease the burden on you and get your Town Team working in the right direction.

 The Town Team Plan Template - for anyone who is not comfortable with, or does not want to, fill in a traditional business plan / action plan model, the Town Team Plan may be just what you're looking for. It's a hybrid designed to get your Town Team thinking strategically

Town Team Action Plan Template - for those of you wanting a pure Action Plan template.

Town Centre Constitution Template - useful when forming a new partnership or board, this will help govern people and how decisions are made, giving you security and a structure to follow

Terms of Reference Template - use this to lay the foundations for your decision-making, membership, finances and other key operational roles within your Town Team. 

How to Establish a Town Team - a guide to help you set up and develop a successful Town Team or Town Centre Partnership.

Town Team Survival Guide - an induction / checklist for your early 'to-do' lists

A Firm Basis - this guide for will help you decide where to go next and sets out the roles BIDs, CICs and voluntary partnerships may play in your Town Team's future.


Marketing, PR & Communication

Promoting your High Street, whether this is for an event or letting people know about the shops and services in the area, is vitally important. So is talking to people, from consumers to local community groups and landowners. Helpfully, it's also really easy, especially with ATCM's free guides.

Town Team Comms Plan Template - this very simple document can help your local partnership refine your marketing and communication for a particualr event or project, helping to ensure that the right people get the right message and ultimately create a successful outcome.

Working with the Media - worried about talking to media outlets? Don't be - read through our guide and start to find your feet when dealing with local and national media.

Connecting your Visitor Economy - our guide, written by Visit England, will help you connect with your local Destination Management Organisation who can help plug your partnership into the wider regional, national and even international branding and marketing for your area.  

Using Social Media - this guide is an interactive pdf that will introduce you to using social media, present some case studies to help you see how it can integrate into your event or wider marketing strategy, and take you step by step through using some of the most popular social media platforms.

Town Team Brand Guidelines - want to use the Town Team logo on your marketing, promotions, websites, letters and so on? DOwnload the brand guidelines. You can even use this as an example of how to develop your own brand guidelines too.


Markets, Events & Popups

Markets and events are a great way to bring people into your local area and show off what makes your place, great. Why not add some colour to a market day and hold complimentary events alongside it? Get the local choir out onto the street? Have some live art on your public square?

Below you'll also find a guide to one of our more common requests - how to develop a popup shop. Remember, that a vacant unit is a blank canvas, so it can be anything from a retail unit to community hub. The lessons in the popup guide can be applied to a coworking space or art exhibition just as they can for a retail-focused project.

Thinking of starting a popup? This guide will begin to answer those initial questions and kickstart your Popup Shop progress.

Are you planning on running an event? Download our ten top tips for Town Teams to run great events, then read our comprehensive event management guide, produced by Sheffield Hallam University.

A market, whether this is fruit & veg, antiques or locally made craft, is a great way of bringing people into town, and connecting local people with local services.

  • Love Your Local Market is a great way to get involved and promote your market as part of an international campaign. Read here about how Town Teams can get involved.

Car parking is an emotive issue, with town centre accessibility often high on many local partnership's agenda. Read ATCM's guide on the subject - In-Town Parking: What Works?


Powers & Tools

There are specific, strategic tools your team can use to help make great local places. For more bespoke support, get in touch or talk to your regional advisor.

The first port of call should be our free guide to the planning system. While it's not everyone's cup of tea, this guide deals with developing Local Plans, Neighbourhood Plans and generally managing developments in your town centre. For comprehensive information about Community Right to Buy, Right to BID and Asset Transfers, explore mycommunityrights.org.


Regional Social & Economic Data

North-WestNorth-EastMidlandsEast of EnglandLondonSouth-EastSouth-West

In July 2013, ATCM and Experian ran a series of regional workshops designed to give Town Teams a deeper understanding of the social and economic landscape surrounding their High Streets. The information in the presentations below, split by region, will help people develop appropriate business plans for their particular High Street or town centre. After reading your specifc region's presentation, the contact details of your ATCM Regional Advisor are at the end of the document.