In episode two, Alison Harvey, from the Heritage Council, speaks with Tara Buckley, Director General of RGDATA the Retail Grocer's Trade Association.
Protecting the heritage of our historic town centres has never been more important given the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The traditional economic heartbeat of such places is under serious threat. Small and medium sized businesses are especially vulnerable. From the coffee shop on the corner, to brand name retail businesses, there is an air of uncertainty. Challenges of Covid have placed unprecedented pressures on traditional urban areas because of the effects of lockdown and other restraints. Yet the heart of many of our Town Centres contain layers of history and heritage. Town squares, streets, laneways, traditional and sometimes landmark buildings, and streetscapes that have survived the rigour of centuries, are vital for our historical memory and sense of place.
In a landmark move, the Heritage Council has now launched its first ever podcast series. ‘Putting Town Centres First’ provides timely insights, not least the multilayered challenges posed by Covid-19. The new series aims to raise awareness and understanding of key issues now confronting our historic town centres. It highlights the overwhelming need for innovative and collaborative responses and solutions. The new podcast series is part of the innovative Collaborative Town Centre Health Check Programme (CTCHC).