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Preston city centre approval rating grows in latest survey

Posted on - 24th May, 2015 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Preston City Centre
The next section of Fishergate is due to get the new shared space layout, up to Church Street

The next section of Fishergate is due to get the new shared space layout, up to Church Street

Preston city centre is beginning to boom according to the results of a new survey.

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More than 1,000 people have been quizzed by the Preston Business Improvement District for their thoughts on the city centre.

It found eating out in the city centre was seeing a lift with 80 per cent of those surveyed rating restaurants, cafes and takeaways as good or very good.

However, the price of parking was a bug bear with nearly half feeling the price isn’t right.

Shopping-wise the survey respondents said retailers in the city were good with 78 per cent selecting this option. The survey takes in a mix of people who are within the city centre at the time and also asking questions on email to people who have attended Preston BID events.

BID manager Mark Whittle said: “Our survey has underlined the positivity around Preston city centre at the moment, showing Preston is well and truly on the up according to the attitudes and perceptions of people coming into the city.

“Perception, confidence and awareness are all increasing and people are choosing to come into Preston more than ever before.

“More than 85 per cent of people surveyed were in the city centre to shop and of those over 20 per cent were from outside Preston. This clearly shows Preston is a destination for shopping.

“People were overwhelmingly in favour of the new shared space development in Fishergate and people said it had improved their experience of Preston.

“It was very pleasing for us that a high number of respondents are acutely aware of the BID’s existence and activities, and believe they add real value to our city.

“Since we launched this survey five years ago, we have seen a major shift in public opinion and attitudes towards the city centre and, while there is always more that can be done, the initiatives being introduced by BID, Preston City Council and the business community are creating the perfect environment for a prosperous and vibrant city centre.”

Andrew Stringer, manager of St. George’s Shopping Centre and chair of the City Retail Forum said: “I am delighted that this year’s BID survey shows the most positive response since inception in 2010. There’s a definite animation to the city right now, it’s evident in our centre and amongst our visitors.  We are pleased to be working alongside the BID and other city partners to ensure that Preston remains a destination of choice.”

Fishergate Shopping Centre manager and member of the City Retail Forum, Keith Mitchell said: “The survey results clearly demonstrate what the people of Preston already know; our city centre is safe and secure to visitors, that the BID strategy creates vitality within the business community; and the new improved street-scene has never looked better. I am highly optimistic about Preston’s future prosperity.”

Margaret Mason, an independent florist on Friargate, said: “It is wonderful to know that people’s perceptions of Preston city centre match my belief that this is the place to do business in Lancashire.

“I am a local girl and I just love being able to run a business in Preston and recently I have felt an increased  vibrancy about the place and if people have responded so positively to this survey it can only mean good things for the future of businesses in the area.”

What do you think of the survey results? What’s your perception of the city centre? Let us know in the comments below

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