Almost 300 people give their views on improving Harborough town centre - and here are the results
“This feedback will now help inform future town centre discussions" said the council
Almost 300 people have taken part in a new in-depth study focusing on improving and embellishing Market Harborough town centre.
The survey was carried out by Harborough District Council along with local retail group Harbs Collective.
“Nearly 300 people, of all ages, shared their thoughts about the way that they shop and engage with local businesses and what shoppers would like to get out of Market Harborough town centre,” said the council.
“This feedback will now help inform future town centre discussions.
“Those taking part mainly said they visit the town centre for the independent shops, convenience shopping, cafes, restaurants and hospitality, and to visit Harborough Market.
“More than 70 per cent of people said they had visited the town for events - especially seasonal events such as Christmas, Easter and Halloween trails, as well as for the street festival Arts Fresco,” added the local authority.
People are now calling for more special events for children, carnivals, markets, late night shopping events and classic car shows to be staged in Market Harborough.
They are also keen to see more comedy events, street parties, food events, craft and cultural events and live music shows held.
“Respondents also said they would be more likely to support independent retailers if they had more online access to their products and services.
“However, many said that they still like to visit shops to browse in person.”
Pedestrianisation, a greater variety of shops and dining outdoors, more opportunities to cycle or use e-bikes, less traffic and more for young people are also high on many people’s wishlists.
The brilliantly-colourful Harborough in Bloom flower displays in the town centre were also showered with praise.
Claire Webb, of Harbs Collective, said: "The Harbs Collective is very grateful to the extraordinary number of people who took the time to respond to the survey.
“The feedback has given us a real boost after a difficult year and fuel for our future schedule of events.
“We're really pleased 80 per cent of participants have enjoyed our seasonal and festive trails,” said Claire.
“So we will continue to put these on and have looked at ways in which to develop them further.
“As such we're hoping our first autumn event will be a taste trail in October.
“It will showcase our town's abundance of amazing independent retailers, diverse restaurants and cafes and unique food and drink shops. “Half term will see another Halloween-based trail for families and in the run-up to Christmas we'll be planning 'after hours' shopping events.
“And while we're enthusiastic to keep our town centre a lively and inviting place, we're also keen to improve the way customers can access our high street online and look forward to working with Harborough District Council on creative web-based shopping ideas," said Claire.
If you have any further suggestions for town and retail centres in the Harborough district email [email protected]