I am writing to you as representatives of our rural communities because it is important that the views of people who live outside of Basingstoke town give their views on what currently makes Basingstoke an attractive shopping centre and what is not so good together with ideas about how improvements could be made in future.
Time is running out to share your views to shape the long-term future of Basingstoke town centre. I am writing to you as representatives of our rural communities because it is important that the views of people who live outside of Basingstoke town give their views on what currently makes Basingstoke an attractive shopping centre and what is not so good together with ideas about how improvements could be made in future.
High streets across the UK continue to experience the effects of changes in shopping habits. Although Basingstoke town centre, including Festival Place and The Malls, has had success in attracting investment and new retailers in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that town centres across the country are facing significant challenges, such as a decline in footfall and shop closures. Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has appointed a team of experts in looking at how places can be strengthened to help develop an ambitious strategy for the town centre area.
Recognising the importance of a strong town centre as a key part of the borough’s recovery from the pandemic, the aim of the new strategy will be to create a vision and future masterplan to ensure the town centre offers an attractive shopping, leisure and cultural experience.
Over the next six months the study will include comprehensive engagement with residents, businesses and other groups and a detailed analysis of the town’s requirements and aspirations to create a final vision and masterplan. The new plan is due to be announced in the autumn and we are also looking at what lessons and actions may be applicable to other towns and villages across the borough to assist them in meeting the changes in shopping habits.
Working closely with town centre partners, the aim will be to ensure the council can provide support where it is most needed and maximise joint development and investment opportunities.
Residents, businesses, organisations and visitors are being encouraged to share their views of the town centre, their shopping habits and what they would like to see to improve the area in future years by taking part in an online survey at www.talkbasingstoketowncentre.co.uk. The survey will be open until Friday 19 March.
Your support in completing the survey would be much appreciated.