Peter Tooher and Richard Shepherd from Nexus Planning, and Danny Crump from Broadway Malyan, are among the first of 150 experts appointed to a Government task force to help transform town centres.
As part of the High Streets Task Force, the place making industry experts will advise local authorities on developing their town centres, progressing local plans, bidding for investment and responding to the impact of Covid-19, according to a statement from the task force, an initiative of the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.
Those selected so far are drawn from across a broad range of specialisms, including architecture, planning, sustainable design and civic engagement.
Five of Nexus’ urban planning consultants have been appointed as experts, including Tooher and Shepherd, executive director and director from the firm’s Manchester office.
Tooher, formerly of BDP and Broadway Malyan, joined Nexus in May 2013 while Shepherd joined the firm from WYG Planning in September 2017.
A further three urban planning consultants were appointed from Nexus’ London office, including Shaun Andrews, Rob Pearson and James Singer.
Shepherd said: “We believe that the High Streets Task Force provides a genuine opportunity to provide innovative solutions to ensure that our high streets respond to current difficulties and are able to thrive.
“It will be an honour to collaborate with experts across a range of disciplines to develop and hone best practice and bring about real and lasting change on our high streets.”
Broadway Malyan’s Crump said: “The unfortunate reality is that our town centres and high streets have been struggling for some time now, while the Covid-19 crisis has only served to highlight many of these deep-rooted problems.
“High-quality placemaking is absolutely vital in saving our town centres and high streets, and the time for action is now.”
The task force has also appointed experts from national bodies the Royal Town Planning Institute, Landscape Institute, Design Council, and the Institute of Place Management, but the full list of experts advisors has yet to be announced.
Simon Quin, executive director of the High Streets Task Force, said: “Our experts will work with places in greatest need. They will support the development of the collaborative and challenging visions our town centres require.”