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RetaiLinkers are ready to review their Action Plans in Fermo

30 January 2018

From 7th to 8th February, RetaiLink cities will meet in Fermo (Italy) to review each other's strategic plans and discover ways to fund and implement them. During the last months, the 10 european cities have learnt how to revitalise retail in medium-sized cities. The network is reaching its last phase, and now the main focus is on how to make the Action Plans come true.

During the last two years, the cities have engaged together in a process to know their consumers' needs, and elaborated a plan with actions that will affect its retail offer, urban space, mobility, regulation and city branding.

On the next RetaiLink meeting, the ten partners will engage in different peer review activities to help each other make the most of their new retail strategy. The geographical and cultural diversity of the cities of the project, -who come from Spain, UK, the Netherlands, France, Croatia, Romania, Italy or Hungary- offers an interesting exchange of experiences and perspectives.

How to implement and fund the Action Plans
The next step after having a good plan is to implement it, and this is where the RetaiLink meeting will bring in interesting sessions. First of them will be a conference by the URBACT expert Manuel Torresan called “Reshaping retail in a medium sized-city, some lessons from the experience”, that will refer to funding opportunities through EU programmes and funds. Torresan is an architect and urban planner from the Department of Planning, Design and Architecture Technology at  Sapienza University (Rome).

This information will be complemented on the second day of the meeting, with a presentation about “Alternative Sources of Funding” by Daniel Garnier, project coordinator from the British partner of the project, Basingstoke. In the afternoon, the group will follow an online training session delivered by the URBACT secretariat on “How to fund your Integrated Action Plan – Resourcing Strategy”, that will offer an overview on funding possibilities, a guide to go from actions to funds, how to develop a resourcing strategy and some risk analysis advice.

RetaiLink partners will also learn from the experience of other cities on implementing a retail revitalisation plan, thanks to the participation of the invited city of Spoleto (Umbria). Camilla Laureti, councillor of tourism, will share the whole process followed and lessons learnt by this Italian medium sized city.

 

Celebrating the closure of the project
Once the Actions Plans are finalised, each city is going to celebrate a Final Event to present them to their citizens. During the meeting, the participants will engage in a Communication training where they will receive some guidance from URBACT and give advice to each other on how to promote their plans.

 

RetaiLink will celebrate a project Final Event on the 5th April, the International City Retail Experience, where the main highlights of RetaiLink will be shared to a wide audience, with 600 participants expected. The congress will take place in Hoogeveen, one of the Dutch partners of the network, and will count on relevant experts.  All the information and registration to this event can be found here.

 

Discovering Fermo from their retailers' voice
To maximize the exchange between cities, the meeting will include a site visit on the first day, where local retailers from Fermo will guide the international participants through different circuits around the city. The day after, they will be asked to suggest what could be the commercial evolution of the area they visited, the possible uses for the vacant buildings, how to improve the signage or how to link the historical heritage and the commercial activity of the area.

In conclusion, two days of intense learning, sharing experiences and good practices, that will inspire the RetaiLinkers define the best Integrated Action Plans.