Retail development in historic town and city centres - why? & how? The conference in Bristol began with a fascinating and enjoyable evening aboard the ss Great Britain, hosted by The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr Royston Griffey JP LLB. The next day Brian Human, Chair of EHTF, identified the impacts on historic towns, and the need for an emphasis on design and complementary actions in order to maintain quality and distinctiveness of the place. Chris Smith, representing English Heritage and the Urban Panel, advised an overview in order to avoid the mismatch between the standard mall format and complex places, but building on the strength of the towns' heritage. Speakers included representatives from Donaldsons, outlining consumer and town centre development trends and Land Securities plc with an update on the Exeter Princesshay retail development. The Bath case study was presented by the local authority and Urban Practitioners, looking at maximising the 'USP' of the retail offer. Looking at retail development in the regeneration of smaller towns Andrew Ogg recommended masterplanning and presented Gravesend as a case study of where this had been achieved. The Whitefriars retail scheme was revisited to look at whether it had delivered on expectation and if there were lessons that might be learned form it. Delegates had a guided tour of the redevelopment of the Broadmead area of Bristol followed by presentations in the marketing suite of the Bristol Alliance on the 16th floor of the Castlemead building which gave a 'bird's eye' view of the site. Representatives of Bristol City Council and the Bristol Alliance explained the project and the part it plays in the overall regeneration strategy for the City. A special visit to the Quakers' Friars site had also been arranged; currently an archaeological site, this building will house a high quality restaurant at the hub of the new public realm. Copies of the handouts of the speakers' powerpoint presentations are available from the EHTF office; also available on a cd; prices on application.