Cross Party Group on Small Shops

Purpose of the Meeting (Chair Janet Finch-SaundersAM's Introduction):


'This meeting is the second of the CPG, the purpose is to meet our ambition to provide a forum for AMs to hear direct from retailers, practitioners and government about the challenges that small shops are facing in our towns and communities. It is also a forum to learn about what is working. 


With this in mind I am delighted to welcome the team from Action for Market Towns who are working in a number of towns across Wales to bring economic activity, community interaction and regeneration. 


We are delighted to have AMs and colleagues here today to hear first hand the great work and ideas from Chris Wade and his team. We will also be producing a report of this meeting that we will be distributing to all Assembly colleagues in the next couple of weeks. '



Speakers: Action for Market Towns


AMT (Action for Market Towns) is a national membership group that provides small towns, local authorities and others with:

  • Information and advice
  • Examples of best practice
  • National representation


Action for Market Towns has an active membership of towns in Wales, benefiting from

  • exchanging ideas about ‘what works’ in revitalising small towns
  • case studies of practical and replicable town centre projects
  • events and workshops – subsidised for AMT members
  • policy analysis showing how the latest policies will affect small towns
  • sharing good practice through the Wales AMT Awards



Chris Wade (CEO, Action for Market Towns) – Approaches to Town Centre Revitalisation


As chief executive of Action for Market Towns (AMT), Chris has re-shaped its work to provide support to maintain thriving small towns by working with communities across the UK, providing advice to local authorities and influencing decision-makers.


Chris has nearly twenty years' experience in environmental management and rural affairs as well as a strong background in running independent rural development organisations.


Chris will be addressing the Cross Party Group on Small Shops on approaches to town centre revitalisation, focusing on an example of evidence-based action planning in Colwyn Bay. Following this overview, Chris will be followed by two practitioners who have worked with Action for Market Towns in Wales.


Owen Davies - Engaging and working with small independent businesses in Gwynedd


Owen will share his experiences of developing approaches to engaging and working with small independent businesses in Dolgellau and Bangor.


Chris Jones - Partnerships and Self-reliance


Chris will share his experiences of working on regeneration in Neath and Ystradgynlais.


Group Output:



Action for Market Towns will distribute an accompanying paper along with their presentations. Following discussions with the group, a fuller report of best practice guidance on partnership working will be produced and distributed among AMs.