The good, the bad and the ugly revealed in our survey

Alnwick town centre
Alnwick town centre

The Gazette’s high street survey is revealing likes, dislikes and all manner of suggestions to improve our town and village centres.

Common themes include congestion and parking during the summer months, particularly at tourist hotspots, the number of empty shops, high rents and rates, lack of entertainment, the state of public toilets and pedestrianisation.

In the coming weeks, we will be looking at some of these issues individually, so we’d still like to see more of your suggestions.

A national debate about the state of our high streets and town centres has concluded that times are changing and our retail centres must adapt to survive.

They are 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.

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. 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.

Judging by your responses so far, there is a lot of support for our high street and people want them to survive and continue to provide a focal point for all of our communities.

We would like to give you the opportunity to make your voices heard. To get involved, please fill out the survey in the Gazette. Not all questions will be applicable to your town or village.

Alternatively, fill it in online here.
Your views may be quoted and we will use what you tell us to form the basis of reports in the coming weeks.
See next week’s Gazette for more coverage on the high street survey.

Some of your comments

Parking already spoils Alnwick as does the through-traffic.

Northumbrian music, it is our identity. Street theatre. Seats and tables for the public.

Independents offer friendly, personal service & a willingness to go the extra mile.

Lots and lots of empty shops with horrible fronts , mess inside, etc (Alnwick).

Amble is eaten up by tourists, we can rarely park the car at our door during summer.

More clothing shops; less bars, charity shops, cafes and estate agents.

Too many cars, too many empty shops. More pedestrianisation (Alnwick).

The worst thing about Alnwick for old people is the Cobbles.

So fed up with the congestion and the parking that I go south to shop.

Lots of tourists bypass the town to go to the castle/garden – doesn’t help the local retailers.

Need provision for tourists so that locals can still park during the holiday season.