Lincoln plays successful host to town management event

A national conference stopped off at Lincoln this week, showcasing the city’s finest businesses, tourism efforts and projects.

The Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) Summer School saw around 120 delegates meet in the city, listening to keynote speakers, study tours, workshops and tutorials.

Lincoln BIG used the event to showcase the efforts going into increasing footfall and drive-up tourism in Lincoln, with initiatives such as Visit and Tour Lincoln, the events programme, business support schemes and Lincoln’s various markets.

Held in the University of Lincoln’s Lincolnshire Leadership & Management Centre, delegates discussed the future of High Streets, and how to revitalise them.

Debates included changing shopping trends, how towns and cities could make themselves stand out, encouraging pop-up shop traders to be permanent businesses, digital and multi-channel
marketing, and crowdfunding.

ATCM Chief Executive Martin Blackwell said: “The reason we brought 120 delegates to Lincoln is because of its success story.

It has got a lot right and it is a place which everyone can learn from. The structure we have put together with Lincoln BIG seems to be serving the city well.

“I talked to the President of the International Downtown Association Dave Downey (conference delegate) and he was amazed at the vibrancy of the city centre and particularly the retail core of Lincoln.

One of the local speakers was the Waterside Shopping Centres’ Managing Director Mark Bourgeois.

He spoke about the managing change from the perspective of the in-town shopping centre investor, looking at the importance of technology and customer experience, plus investment to reconfigure space.

He also discussed the challenges towns faced due to inappropriate local planning decisions, and that he wanted to see more lobbying to improve regulations.

At an ATCM Awards Dinner at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, the achievements of town, city and BID (Business Improvement District) managers were highlighted and rewarded.