In 1999 a series of exploratory meetings took place between representatives of the Board of Industry, the St Peter Port Traders Association, and a number of concerned and interested States committees and other organisations, to discuss ways of improving the Island, specifically the Town centre. As a result of those meetings an informal steering group evolved, which continued into 2000. By autumn of that year it was recognised that the best way forward was for the establishment of a formal structure.
The coordinator position was created in Autumn 2000 and a retired civil servant David Le Conte took on the role until April 2002 when Jack Honeybill took over. The title of the position was changed by the Trustees to Executive Officer.
The Guernsey Town Centre Partnership is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Guernsey. It is a member of the Association of Guernsey charities and is registered number 234.
Its charitable objects include aiding, co-ordinating, encouraging, facilitating, promoting and undertaking the improvement, protection and preservation of the environment for the benefit of the public, and in particular by means of: the provision, maintenance and improvement of public amenities; the facilitation of the economic, social or environmental use of land; the promotion, maintenance and improvement of the character, vitality and amenities of the Island; and the preparation and co-ordination of initiatives or strategies for the improvement or regeneration of areas of the Island.
The Partnership’s role is not to take over responsibilities of others, but to add value to the current management process by remaining apolitical and independent, providing a focus for co-ordination, facilitating communication, mobilising limited resources, adding speed and direction to problem solving, and enhancing the effectiveness of all stakeholders.
In identifying its objectives, the Partnership has recognised that those objectives must take into account:
- residents, visitors and shoppers
- buildings, streets and street furniture
- access to the Town centre
- the environment
- law and order
- retail, service and financial business
- leisure activities
The Town can be identified as comprising the Town Centre and an extended Town area.
The Town Centre comprises the primary retail ares including the High Street, Pollet, Lower Pollet, Smith Street, the Quay, the Commercial Arcade, the Market area including Fountain Street and the additional retail areas of North Esplanade, The Albany, the Old Quarter including Trinity Square and the Bordage.
The approach taken by the Partnership with regard to the Town includes the following major activities:
- carrying out an initial SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of the Town
- identifying issues affecting the vitality and viability of the Town
- carrying out health checks identifying performance indicators measuring the health of the Town and monitor these on a regular basis.
- revisiting the SWOT analysis and prioritising issues periodically in the light of the health check monitoring
- identifying agreeing and implementing improvement projects
- identifying and sourcing funding projects
- involving everyone affected by these activities
- remaining apolitical and acting as a facilitator
- promoting the town both within and outside the Island
Guernsey is fortunate in being an island with a wealth of history, a beautiful marine environment, a distinctive constitutional position, flourishing industries, a healthy economy, and a thriving Town with huge further potential.
The Guernsey Town Centre Partnership sees as it’s mission:
The protection, enhancement, and development of these qualities, building upon the Island’s strengths, maximising it’s opportunities, tackling it’s weaknesses, and overcoming threats to it’s future prosperity and vitality for the benefit of all.
In order to realise this vision, the Partnership acts as a facilitator, bringing together expertise and resources to focus on issues which are agreed as important. The emphasis will be on sharing of information, skills, concerns, responsibilities and costs. The Partnership works with all those who are affected by these activities.
It’s initial work will concentrate on the Town of St Peter Port.