Midlands Retail Futures
Midlands Retail Futures is an organisation that fizzes with innovation and impact. Inspired by and learning from projects such as the Bristol Housing Festival and MotoFest Coventry, Midlands Retail Futures is focused on repurposing how the High Street is used by all.
While the traditional model of retail has migrated from out of town shopping and online retail, the High Street should remain the centrepiece and heartbeat of a village, town or city. By blending the narrative of the location's heritage, partnering with statutory services, retail, commercial, voluntary, education and art partnerships, the High Street needs to be repositioned as a location of opportunity, inspiration and aspiration.
Doing things new, to make a lasting difference
Activities, festivities, innovation and partnerships
Through a sequence of initiatives and in partnership with key stakeholders, MIdlands Retail Futures will run programmes that link into a theme of Economy of Together.
The Economy of Together will focus to positively enhance the moods, voices and spaces of a village, town and city in the West Midlands. Working with partners, this will involve festivities which position partners into spaces and then repurpose these spaces for blended usage, whether for working, learning, living and serving.
Walsall: A benchmark to start from
As an instigator of projects, such as the Bristol Housing Festival, Lord Wei looked across the UK to see where else he can support the thriving development of a region. His search led him to the West Midlands and discussions with Metro Mayor Andy Street.
It was from here that Lord Wei was invited to bring a team together and look for ways to support Walsall and help reinvigorate its High Street. Over the next 18 months, the team forged working relationships with Walsall Council and key partners in the town, culminating in a set of initiatives; starting in late Summer 2020 and growing onwards to bigger things in the Winter and beyond 2021.