East Riding of Yorkshire Council is seeking feedback from users of East Riding town centres to help identity what action can be taken to improve our high streets for the future.
The survey is currently open for completion until Sunday, 21 February.
The results will be analysed and shared with Town Councils, local stakeholders and businesses to support the development of positive changes which better-meet the needs of communities.
Councillor Victoria Aitken, the portfolio holder for economic development and inward investment at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges to all businesses, particularly in town centres.
“Vacancy rates in primary retail locations are rising, so ensuring the future success of our streets will likely require a different approach. However, we know that the East Riding is well-placed, with its smaller towns, to provide a positive local opportunity, and the number of high street vacancies across the region is low in comparison to other areas.
“A town centre user survey conducted by the council in summer 2020 found that consumers are more likely to shop less frequently and more online in the immediate response to, and post-COVID. Although it was also noted that the longer-term intention of shoppers was to go back to the local high street but that this would need to be supported in a safe and interesting way.
“Overall, we understand that recovery will most likely not mean returning to the way things were before the pandemic, but to reimagine and reinvent high streets as community spaces that support health, culture, housing, leisure and retail.”
Many local businesses have demonstrated great ingenuity and flexibility in adapting the ways they have been trading, in direct response to public health restrictions.
The council’s Love Your High Street Fund has contributed over £450,000 to support wide-ranging and diverse projects worth £1.8million in town centres since its launch in summer 2019.
A major East Riding-wide campaign to encourage people to return to their local high streets is also in development and will be launched as soon as it is safe for town centres to fully reopen.
People interested in taking part in the quick and easy survey are encouraged to do so to help inform positive changes and support healthy, diverse and prosperous future high streets.
The East Riding Town Centre Survey asks multiple-choice questions, taking participants only a few minutes to complete, and can be found at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ERTownCentres/
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