Last chance to have your say on high streets

In the last few weeks, the Gazette has given readers a chance to join in the debate about our suffering high streets and town centres.

Friday, 12th April 2019, 14:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th April 2019, 15:04 pm
Queen Street, Amble

This is the last opportunity to share your opinions about what can and should be done to save the retail hearts of our communities from disaster.

We are not alone here in north Northumberland in facing the challenges of modern-day lifestyles and habits, of competition from different sources, particularly the internet, and the changes in expectations of our high streets.

Alnwick town centre

On a recent visit to Alnwick, retail expert Bill Grimsey warned that the traditional high street as we know it will disappear in just a few years.

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He was speaking at a meeting of the town council’s business forum at which he forecast that retail will decline at the expense of online shopping. But he had a largely positive outlook about the future for Alnwick town centre and others, providing that they adapt.

So, the Gazette launched a survey into how residents think their towns or villages should change in the future and what those in power should be looking at.

And the response so far has been very encouraging – we have been inundated with completed in-paper forms (below) and online surveys accessed from the Gazette website.

We would like to receive all your completed forms by next Thursday, so we can start to collate the results and the share your views.

The engagement shows the strength of feeling and tells us that people do care about their high streets, they do want them to survive and they are prepared for change to make that happen.

The passionate replies also tell us that there is a lot to shout about in the centre of our communities that perhaps we don’t already.

But there are issues that are preventing people walking down their high streets, whether it’s too much litter or dog poo, too many charity shops, not enough local produce, no entertainment or shabby shop frontages.

We would like to give you this final opportunity to make your voices heard.

To get involved, please fill out the survey in this week’s Gazette. Not all questions will be applicable to your town or village.

Alternatively, feel free to visit https://goo.gl/forms/paAcFXZqj8NKKwFj1 to take part in the survey online. Your views may be quoted in the paper.