'Parades to be proud of': new guide to support local shops

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The  Department for Communities and Local Government has today published a guide designed to help restore local shops into neighbourhood communities. The new guide, Parades to be Proud of: Strategies to support local shops, sets out a ‘shopping list for success’ for communities and shop owners who wish to rejuvenate local shopping parades. It recommends:

  • Making parades safer, through working together to introduce security measures and neighbourhood watch schemes
  • Restoring pride in places by thinking creatively about how to focus on selling points
  • Rallying round the community by championing local events like street fairs.

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Living Streets, said: “It’s encouraging to see the government promoting measures and tools to support local shops and services. YouGov research commissioned by Living Streets last year found that more than a quarter (28%) of GB adults feel isolated, or have a friend or loved one who feels isolated, because of a lack of access to essential shops and services within walking distance. Making sure local shops and services are protected and kept within walking distance is key to ensuring community cohesion, healthy lifestyles and vibrant local economies.
 
“However, the guide doesn’t address improvements to the walking environment, which can play a key role in increasing footfall to local businesses. Our report Making the case for investment in the walking environment highlighted Exeter City Centre, where investment in the walking environment had helped increase footfall by 30 per cent.
 
“If the government and local authorities want to safeguard our local shops and services, it must address the need for investment in the walking environment – not parking policies and provision. Streets where people want to walk are key to vibrant communities with strong local economies.”