RESIDENTS and local business owners are being invited to have their say in shaping the future of local high streets across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

BCP Council, which is leading a programme to reimagine all 19 high streets across the conurbation, has launched an online interactive map – inviting people to share ideas on what they think these high streets should look like.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, deputy leader of BCP Council and member for regeneration and economy, said: “So many people have ideas about how they want to see their high streets function in the future and this is an ideal opportunity to create a bigger conversation that everyone can be part of and contribute towards.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been working with the retail sector and businesses to get them through the Covid-19 crisis.

"However, now is the time to switch gears and reimagine our high streets and transform them ready for the 21st century."

Cllr Broadhead says the council is determined to "do whatever it takes" to give high street businesses the fastest bounce back possible.

He said: "We have an opportunity to embrace the change and to consider how best we can work with our partners and local communities to intervene positively in the industry.

“Whilst we do this we must also keep our focus on the future which is why through developing a strategy we can reignite the excitement, personality and character of our high streets and create spaces that are meaningful to all who visit, work and enjoy.”

Civic officials say the initial focus will be to develop a strategy to support the high streets in their recovery following the impact of the pandemic.

Cllr Broadhead said: “We believe high streets play a key role in creating a sense of place and they are the beating heart of our communities.

"Work is already underway around transformative plans for areas such as Poole high street and Westover Road, along with work for direct council intervention in empty shops to bring in new, innovative independent retailers – but as part of that piece of work we want to hear your ideas about what the future of your high street should look like.”

People can either add an idea to an online engagement board or add a pin to any of the 19 high street or town centre areas in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and comment on what they would like to see, what they think could be improved or what they like about a high street.

A BCP Council spokesman said: "The ideas gathered will be reviewed and help inform the next stage of the strategy and high street recovery action plan."

Visit to get involved.