There is a great opportunity to make King’s Lynn town centre a better place to live and visit according to the findings of a recent consultation.
In November and December 2019, two Vision King’s Lynn surveys took place to understand how people feel about the town centre and how they use it. The research also captured the public’s ideas for retail, accommodation, and making the most of empty units.
The consultation attracted responses from over 500 people who gave their views online, at drop-in events in the Tuesday Market Place, or via survey postcards distributed at locations across the town centre.
Councillor Graham Middleton, Cabinet Member for Business Development said: “We are so grateful to everyone who took the time to share their views in our consultation. Your feedback has helped us as we shape our Future High Streets Fund bid, and it will also help to inform our other plans for the town centre.
“What your responses have given us is an invaluable insight into how people are using the town centre. This will be extremely useful as we develop plans and measure the impact and success of what we are doing.”
The research found that:
- The main reasons people have for coming into the town centre are clothes shopping (63%), going to restaurants and eating out (53%), and banking (45%);
- Primark, M and S, and Debenhams were named as the top three retail outlets people are going to, and the High Street, Tuesday Market Place, and New Conduit Street are the most frequented places in the town centre;
- People feel that the town’s festivals, events, and The Walks are what impacts most positively on wellbeing;
- The shops and parking were mentioned most in the consultation;
- People enjoy visiting the town centre for the shops, the history, and meeting friends;
- Satisfaction levels were:
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- Dissatisfaction at 39% represents a big opportunity to increase satisfaction, through plans being developed;
- People used a mix of words and phrases to describe the town centre with ‘closing’, ‘variety,’ and ‘potential’ used most frequently;
- The vast majority of people (70%) travel in by car;
- The top three other places people like to visit are Norwich, Cambridge and London.
Councillor Graham Middleton commented: “What this feedback has shown is that King’s Lynn town centre has potential and scope to be even better. There are clearly themes where people would like to see improvements, and there are also positives which we can build on. It was fantastic, for example, to learn about some of the attributes which benefit people’s wellbeing.
“With the work we are doing to develop our plans for the town centre, to attract funding for King’s Lynn, and to shape the future, we believe that we have a fantastic opportunity to increase satisfaction and decrease dissatisfaction, and make the town centre a place where more people want to live and visit.”
The consultation also asked for the public’s ideas for what could improve the town centre:
- The retail offer and parking were themes highlighted by respondents as key to their town centre experience;
- People felt that refurbishing and maintaining buildings and access to shops and services, including in the evening, would encourage town centre living;
- Many ideas were shared around bringing the heritage to life, including events and tours, the arts and culture offer, access to information, and marketing;
- People were also creative in their suggestions for making the most of empty retail units, including with the provision of pop-up shops.
Vision King’s Lynn is the collective name for the plans and funding strands for King’s Lynn town centre. This includes the Future High Streets Fund submission; the final business case for this will be issued to government in April.
Councillor Graham Middleton: “We want to continue to involve people in our plans for the town centre and we will offer further opportunities for people to have their say in the months to come.
“We are excited for what could be possible for King’s Lynn town centre and we look forward to continuing to shape our plans and make the town centre an even better place for all of us to enjoy.”