Kettering town centre is a great place and new businesses and organisations are moving into it all the time. But like every other town centre it has issues. The retail sector is being affected by changes in the way we shop. There could perhaps be improvements in the street furniture and the way the centre is managed maybe? We all use the town, and we all benefit from the shops and organisations that are based there, but could it be made even better?

For a long time I have personally had concerns that there has been no long term vision for the centre. As a town we often seem to rely in the whims of individual businesses coming or leaving Kettering. A town the size of Kettering is never going to attract the huge department stores of a big city so perhaps there is more we can collectively do to appeal to smaller more niche retailers.

I have long thought that the local Council needs to get together with local business people and others to develop some kind of plan and to discuss the issues both good and bad that surround the centre. We cannot rely purely on business to drive changes and investment, in the same way the Council cannot bring about the sort of changes I would like to see on their own. But together, working as a genuine partnership, anything is possible!

I’m pleased therefore to announce that Kettering Borough Council have agreed to do exactly that and open up a conversation between interested parties! They are holding a conference for organisations and businesses involved in the town centre and hopefully this will be a positive session that will bring out lots of ideas, and together we can start to form a plan and ensure our town centre has a direction to take it forward for years to come.

You can find out more at www.thisiskettering.com/conference