Regenerating Rochford’s high street

By Shaun Scrutton | 14 August 2019

There has been much discussion of late about how we give a boost to our high streets, making them vibrant and vital spaces which support our local communities. In the Rochford district we have been keen to experiment and see what we can do differently to attract the footfall back into our town centres, mindful of the reality that retail no longer appears to be the sole driving factor for their existence. We need to have a wider range of uses to attract residents and visitors into our town centres, stimulating future confidence and investment.

To that end, we are one of five locations which will be taking part in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Open Doors pilot, which matches empty properties with community groups looking for space on a temporary basis. This will enable commercial units at the former Kings Head pub, a Grade II listed building in the heart of Rochford’s historic town centre, to be transformed into a community space managed by independent charity Meanwhile Foundation, in partnership with Meanwhile Space CIC – which we hope will provide a social benefit while also breathing life back into the area.

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