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A unique planning tool, that will help local authorities to identify ...
A unique planning tool, that will help local authorities to identify

areas of town centre activity, is launched today in a new report by

planning and regeneration minister Tony McNulty.

For the first time ever statistics on employment, floorspace and

turnover have been brought together, in the form of interactive maps,

to assist local planners, retailers and potential investors.

The report, surveying town centres all over London, marks a

breakthrough in providing essential data to define the boundaries of

town centres. With these statistical boundaries clearly in place, and

the economic data displayed, the development and needs of town

centres, and other areas of activity, can be clearly monitored.

Commenting on the research Tony McNulty said:

'These interactive maps are a valuable new resource that will make a

real difference to the quality of life in our towns and cities.

'With this much-needed information local authorities, central

government, retailers and potential investors will be able to monitor

the economic growth of town centres and make informed decisions when

planning new developments.'

Referring to the London pilot study Tony McNulty said:

'Local authorities all over London are now able to access free,

detailed and essential data on employment, floorspace and turnover.

The statistics provided by the pilot study offer a clear vision of

London's town centre activity and will help to shape its future

planning and development.'

The study is the first stage of a larger project to develop a model

of town centres all over England and Wales. The development of a

nationally consistent method of defining town centre boundaries will

make comparing levels and rates of development in different areas


The Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) today published

their report on sustainable funding.

Tony McNulty said:

'The ATCM plays a very important role in the development of our town

centres. It has brought together a coalition of interests - public,

private and voluntary - to create a climate for further positive and

sustainable change in our towns and city centres.'


1) The interactive maps are available on CD-ROM and the internet.

2) The report is the result of work undertaken by the Office of the

Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), University College London (UCL), the

Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Valuation Office Agency


3) 'Producing Boundaries and Statistics for Town Centres - London

Pilot Study Summary Report' is published by TSO, price£40 for the

book only (ISBN 0 11 753 5737) or£50 for the pack containing book &

CD (ISBN 0 11 753 6326). Both are available from The Stationery

Office, Tel. 0870 600 5522; Email

4) This report follows a Feasibility Study, published in February

1998, which identified boundaries of town centre activity for ten

case study areas from across England and Wales.

5) A set of national interactive maps, covering towns all over

England and Wales, will be available in spring 2003.

6) The methodology used to identify the areas, combines measures of

economic activity, diversity of activity and floorspace, and looks

for areas that score highly on the combined measure.

7) Content of report:

i) Statistics on employment and turnover for 147 Areas of Town Centre

Activity in London, and 21 concentrations of Retail Activity within

them, are being released for the first time.

ii) Information concerning the innovative methodology used to combine

information on town centre activity and model areas.

8) The ATCM report can be found here.

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