Helping towns survive and thrive again

An in-depth and timely piece of opinion research on the state of our town centres and high streets and what the future could hold for them was commissioned by ABF/Primark.

We found that people felt intimately connected with their local towns and, in spite of their centres having seen better days, people are immensely proud of where they live and come from. They desperately want their towns to survive through Covid, and then they want to help make them thrive again.

More than anything, people are missing the physical experience of being with others – and that includes going shopping. Yes, they may have been pushed online during lockdown, but that doesn’t spell the end of the high street. Far from it. Shopping in person is a different experience, a social event, that cannot be replaced by online.

We argue that the Levelling Up Fund should be used to help bring people back together again to celebrate their towns and to make up for all the community events they have missed last year – and to rejuvenate town centres.

You can download the final report here and the polling tables lying behind the research here.