Case-Study 2 | Insight / Consultancy

Alteris: Designing a shopping centre for social impact

The high street is evolving to become a place where people can physically reconnect and learn together.

Retailers are aware brick-and-mortar stores are in decline, but they are not dead yet. The high street will need to evolve, but how?

The problem

Alteris acquired Vicar Lane shopping centre in Chesterfield in 2018. As part of drawing up its masterplan for the town centre, it engaged with Human City to understand the key social issues in Chesterfield. The company wanted to find out how it could help address a few of these issues as part of its wider work.

The considerations

The company was keen to understand the role of tourism and art in the regeneration of the town centre. We worked with Alteris to identify realistic and positive effects that Vicar Lane shopping centre could create. We used these insights to identify impact goals and measures that would inform the company’s future work.

The implementation

Our findings from interviews and time spent with key stakeholders living and working in Chesterfield enabled Alteris to collaborate with the council, business and social enterprises to tackle the most pressing social issues.

The company used our strategic recommendations to:

  • Establish the areas in which the company can have most impact, and deliver real and lasting change for the people of Chesterfield;
  • Build partnerships with the council, local businesses and social enterprises to take a more co-ordinated approach;
  • Design the space and services at Vicar Lane in a way that brings benefit to the greatest number of people in Chesterfield; and
  • Create broad impact goals to guide investment decisions, and apply to other assets.

The benefits

Alteris obtained a clear sense of what it currently delivers in terms of social impact, what additional positive effects it could create in Chesterfield, and a plan for designing the space and service at Vicar Lane shopping centre to extend and deepen its contribution.