Activate – bringing places to life

The success of many retail, commercial and mixed-use assets is increasingly determined by the provision of a quality experience and positive social value for local communities, customers and occupiers.  Creating places which reflect the needs and aspirations of the people who use them is an instrumental part of achieving this and has become a key element of an asset’s placemaking strategy.

As a result, Workman LLP have recruited a dedicated team with demonstrable experience within the placemaking and regeneration sectors, to form their new Activate placemaking consultancy. Activate will provide clients with a service which can conceive, develop and implement viable placemaking solutions for retail, leisure, office and business parks.

Andrew Sparrow, Workman’s new Director of Placemaking said:

“Having advised on regeneration projects and operated many retail, mixed-use and commercial developments, including Old Spitalfields Market, we’ve seen first-hand how local engagement and research is vital to understand what the target audience actually wants and requires. For example, within retail, people talk about the death of the high street, but our approach has been to identify local solutions to this national trend by working with independent operators, specialist consultants and local stakeholders”

The team’s operational track record enables Activate to support clients’ projects from the masterplanning stage through to operational delivery. Recent consultancy projects demonstrate this, with instructions ranging from: concept and business planning for the development of a new food hall; planning and promoting the relocation of a town centre market; and local research to support developer/local authority discussions on the future of a town centre mixed-use scheme.

“These instructions demonstrate our involvement throughout the development cycle of a project. We have found that our advice and expertise has benefited each element of a project from working with master planners at the planning stage, architects during the design and build, through to asset managers at the point of delivery. This has ensured consistency throughout the project and that the placemaking strategy was fully embedded within the scheme.”

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