How has your town centre changed?

Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

We’ve all noticed a change in our local town centres over the last few years. Changes in the economy and our lifestyle all impact into the types of businesses we need, meaning that some businesses thrive whilst others fold throughout our lifetimes. So how have the last ten years or so impacted on the leisure venues within our local High Streets? 

Recent Local Data Company figures, analysed by the BBC, has shown that there has been a 31% increase in the number of coffee shops over the last five years.  However, despite the threat from coffee shops sweeping our High Streets, pubs still have a strong presence in town centres.

The BBC report quoted Professor Jonathan Morris of the University of Hertfordshire, who has analysed the rise of the coffee shop. He suggested that a lack of time to meet socially was having an impact on certain types of business. "People socialise during the day or after work rather than evenings now," he said, "Places like snooker and bingo halls take a bigger chunk of time, while meeting for coffee doesn't take long.”

Pubs still make up 16% of town centre leisure venues, although between 2011-16, the number of town centre bars, pubs and night clubs fell by about 2,000. Cafes, fast food outlets and restaurants have gone up by 6,000 across England, Scotland and Wales, making.

Other large growth areas included lounge bars (116%), cake makers (51%), juice bars (46%) and speciality restaurants. Comedy clubs (-33%), snooker halls (-34%), internet cafes (-41%) and bingo halls (-22%) had some of the biggest decreases.

So, how do you think your town centre has changed? Whether it’s Reading or Slough, Caversham, Tilehurst or Wokingham, we’re really interested in your thoughts