Good news and bad news…
High Wycombe has an attractive town centre, with many beautiful historic buildings and an appealing setting within the river valley. However, some may have a more negative perception: High Wycombe was cited as one of the UK’s most “crap towns” in a survey last year. To allow the town to live up to its full potential requires investment and spending, which is difficult to attract while the town suffers from a poor reputation.
A wasted opportunity
High Wycombe does not benefit financially as much as it should from being in the wealthiest part of the country. The shops and restaurants in the town centre do not attract people (some very wealthy individuals) who live in the surrounding smaller towns and countryside, and indeed many locals travel elsewhere when they wish to treat themselves, e.g. to buy a really special outfit for a wedding, dine out with friends or celebrate a special occasion such as a big birthday or anniversary. How often do you use the town centre in this way?
This means that High Wycombe residents who own establishments or work in the town centre are missing out on considerable spend from many people who actually pass through the town every day for work, social or other purposes.
Over time, High Wycombe’s historic and beautiful High Street is being threatened by an unsightly plethora of budget shops, pollution damage and vulnerability to vandalism. This makes it harder to attract investment and spending.
Can we effect change?
This questionnaire is designed to gauge support for a campaign to make the town centre appeal to all sorts of consumers, and in particular those from the local area who currently choose not to spend their time and money in the town. The campaign would complement the good work that BidCo undertakes on behalf of the town centre traders. The questions are intentionally direct in order to elicit the clearest responses and should not be taken as an indication of a particular direction for a future campaign.
I would be grateful if you would answer the following questions and return your answers to me, at email@example.com. Paper responses can be returned to: Manor Farm House, Coates Lane, High Wycombe, Bucks HP13 5UX. Please respond by the deadline: Sunday 31st May 2015.
We should not give up on High Wycombe, and especially the historic core. This is all about trying to improve the appeal and offer of our town. Please be honest with your answers, feel free to disagree, but above all please take part in this survey!
Many thanks for your valuable time and opinions. Together we can make a difference.
High Wycombe Society
To take part in our survey, please download, save and complete the questionnaire form (in MS Word format) from the following link:
Alternatively, you can copy-and-paste the questions below into a document format of your choice.
Either way, we encourage you to complete the survey and email it to Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your help and support, and we look forward to hearing your views.
1) Do you agree that High Wycombe should try to generate incremental revenue by appealing to more affluent visitors, as well as attracting more loyal “special occasion” shopping/dining spend by locals?
2) Do you agree that the most obvious place to entice that spend is in the High Street, due to its architectural attractiveness and its location adjacent to higher-spending passers-by (station commuters, private schools, dentists and patients, accountants, lawyers, etc)?
3) Do you agree that more affluent people usually travel by car (including getting to the station to catch a train)?
4) Do you agree that drivers often “cruise” around an area in their cars to see if they want to stop, park, explore and spend?
5) Do you agree that some convenient on-street parking is essential to encourage these drivers to stop, park, explore and spend?
6) Do you agree that if buses and taxis obstruct the High Street, with idling noise and exhaust fumes, it deters more affluent spenders from stopping, parking, exploring and spending?
7) Do you agree that buses and taxis need to be diverted elsewhere in town to attract more affluent spenders to the High Street?
8) Do you agree that the much-loved and well-used Charter Market, with its modern mix of budget clothing and food, mobile phone unlocking services, noises, hot food smells and so on does not have to be in the High Street?
9) Do you agree that Frogmoor is the best town location for “diverse and everyday” purchases– buses, taxis, Charter Market, eclectic street cafes, tattoo parlours, pound shops, charity shops, lively family attractions and vibrant evening entertainment?
10) Would you support an overall plan to create a more aspirational/special-occasion area in the High Street – plus a more diverse/everyday/vibrant area in Frogmoor?
Name and/or age (optional):
Are you a member of the High Wycombe Society?
Contact details (optional):