Businesses have been invited to lay bare their concerns about Northampton town centre at a summit at the Guildhall.
Former independent retailer Stephen Church is carrying out a review of the problems facing the town, and invited businesses and members of the public to contribute their ideas.
The results of the town centre summit, which took place on Friday, will be compiled into a report to be scrutinised by the public, and Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet.
The summit was attended by representatives from independent and corporate retailers, restaurants and pubs and landlords
Mr Church, formerly the managing director of Church’s China, said: “What we want to try and achieve is straightforward. The council has all sorts of plans for improving the town and they are very keen to consult.
“We are inviting local businesses and agencies to tell us what is wrong with the town centre, and suggest innovative ways to improve it.
“Car parking is a big issue. Not just complaints about car parking, but about their presentation. It can be off-putting to see a place which is dark and unwelcoming.
“But people are being positive because they can see the town is improving compared with 10 years ago. We want to make it unique and vibrant in every sense, not just retail.”