MAG has co-produced a fresh community-led approach to placemaking aiming to support successful neighbourhoods, villages, towns and cities. This approach brings people together to consider their local high streets, tackle common issues and enable places and communities to thrive.

Living High Streets

The process will enable a series of guided conversations, with the output being a unique co-designed Framework that is underpinned by local knowledge, agreed actions and priorities for change and practical ways of delivering them. The approach increases the community’s capacity, promotes continuity, with local people having a sense of ownership and control over their places, its stewardship and the consequent pride that comes from that.

Living High Streets craft kit

The craft kit, published in March 2022, sets out the community-led approach, with six themes and 21 questions to be used in workshops.  Neither a design guide nor a consultation exercise, it sets out the process to guide this participatory approach.

Living High Streets starter pack

To assist others to use the craft kit, MAG published a complementary starter pack, in February 2024. It includes additional guidance, presentation slides and guidance notes for use in workshops. The starter pack has been prepared for placemaking facilitators is also useful for Local Action Groups.

Benefits of using the Living High Streets craft kit

To promote use the Living High Streets craft kit in February 2024, MAG published a pamphlet that sets out the benefits of using the Living High Streets craft kit.

Launch of the MAG Living High Streets initiative

Over eighty attended the launch on 28 February 2024 at Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast. Representatives came from the Department for Communities (DfC), Department for Infrastructure, Department for the Economy, The Executive Office, Councils, NIHE, SIB, NILGA, MAG and many others.

Andrew Haley, MAG Chair provided the context for the Living High Streets approach and launched the starter pack, Benefits pamphlet and next steps. 

Justine Daly, MAG Expert Advisor, interviewed Members of the Downpatrick Regeneration Working Group to hear their experiences using the craft kit. The panel included: Stephen Magorrian, Managing Director of the Horatio Group including Denvir’s of Downpatrick; Michael Morrissey, Partner at Morrissey Chartered Accountants and Chair of Down Business Centre; Ciara Toman, Regeneration Officer at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (Council) and provides Secretariat support to the Group; and, Damian Mullholand, who leads the South Eastern Regeneration Office of DfC. 

The event concluded with Andrew chairing a Q & A session with: Justine, Stephen and Michael; Gerard Murray, Director of Regional Development Office; Jonathan McGilly, Assistant Director for Regeneration at the Council. There was positive feedback and an energized buzz in the room.

MAG next steps

MAG are currently organising sessions to train placemaking facilitators to guide the process in different places and help deliver using the Living High Streets Craft Kit locally. One day training sessions will be planned based on requests for training and available budget. Should you be interested in participating in a training session please contact MAG Secretariat.

MAG are also proposing to act as Mentors and Advisors for Placemaking Facilitators and / or Local Action Groups, subject to budgets and capacity. MAG intend to offer support and advise in a tailored manner, subject to capacity and budgets. Should you have a specific request please contact MAG Secretariat.

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