Turning the Dying High Street into a Thriving Community Hub!

2018 saw the lowest ever Christmas sales for high street shops. This is an unsurprising result of fewer people using our high streets, year in, year out. However, this year, sales dropped so low the government announced: something must be done to save our beloved high streets.

So what better time to get back into high street shopping than right now!

Why are we so passionate about saving the High Street?

The High Street is seen as the centre of any community. So obviously here at Broxap, we want to see it thrive. Despite everyone’s best efforts, the High Street is said to have been ‘dying’ and retailers are quick to blame the rise of online shopping. But this cannot be the only factor!

On average in 2018, 14 shops would close on our high streets each day. And though this doesn’t appear to be a huge leap from the figures which we saw in 2017, the dramatic decrease in store openings has meant that more buildings are being left empty. But why is this?

Many retailers have said that despite a rise in sales, many people are just not leaving their houses. And they fear that 2019 might be even worse.

Our mission therefore, is to turn the dying high street into a thriving community hub! By enticing customers to leave the comfort of their own home, and get them back to enjoying the High Street all over again.

Street Furniture- Turn the dying high street into a thriving community hub- Broxap

Many shoppers are often drawn to online shopping as it allows them to get what they need, from the comfort of their sofa. Meaning that in order to encourage more people to use the High Street we need to make it more appealing.

There are many ways to do this, and though some may seem simple on face value, they are extremely effective!

In order to increase the amount of people that use the High Street we need to make it appealing to all age groups, including those of the older generation.

Why are fewer senior citizens using the High Street?

Many senior citizens feel that they cannot use the High Street. This, amongst other things is due to a lack of seating.

A lack of seating in our public areas can be a cause of concern for less mobile citizens. Having an inadequate amount of resting space can deter people away from the High Street. This is because people are scared of becoming tired and having nowhere to ‘recharge.’

Therefore, if the High Street had sufficient seating opportunities, older members of society would be encouraged to return to the High Street for their shopping. Thus improving the prospects of our Great British High Street.

The campaign ‘Stand up For Sitting Down’ which is run by ‘Anchor’ focuses solely on getting more seating for older people, placed on our high streets. You can read more about this campaign in our previous blog ‘Stand up for Sitting Down’ or by following this link directly to their website.

Broxap have a great range of seating options. These can not only be used to increase the amount of seating available for those who are less mobile, but also ensure the seating in suitable for those citizens too. The specialist Lubenham Seat – which is part of the ReGerO range – boasts Senior Citizen Friendly Features. These include a ‘uniquely designed footrest’ and a ‘seat height of 520mm.’

Street Furniture - Turning the Dying High Street into a Community Hub- Broxap

Lubenham Seat

What other simple changes can be made?

As well as having adequate seating opportunities, there also needs to be a vast improvement in the amount of refuse facilities. Another of the simple yet effective changes is the introduction of more litter bins.

Many citizens will decide on whether they want to go somewhere based on the cleanliness of the area. This means that a cleaner space will welcome more people. Therefore, in a high street with fewer bins and in turn more rubbish, you can expect there to be less shoppers.

Cleaner streets invite many more people in. Meaning that if you want your high street to thrive, you have to improve the refuse facilities.

Broxap offer a vast range of litter bins which can be placed within the High Street to improve its general aesthetic. This can be done with the use of vibrant coloured bins or those which use interesting logos and designs. Take a look at our case study ‘Newbiggin by the Sea’ for examples of how we can use your town’s logo to enhance the aesthetic of the litter bin.

Improving our bins with the use of technology!

Broxap also have technology which can help you to ensure your high street stays clean. The ‘ThinkBin’ is a great piece of technology which informs the council when the bin is full. This means that the bin can be emptied in good time, allowing for no excuses for unsightly overflowing bins.

Find out more about this great technology in one of our previous blog posts, ‘Be Smart about Waste Management.

NetBin Info Graphic - Turning the High Street into a Thriving Community Hub- Broxap

How the ‘NetBin’ works.

On top of practical changes such as benches or bins. Other changes which you can make to your high street include installing planters, or using tree grilles. These will improve the town’s appearance. Having large planters can provide a natural element to even the most urban locations. And everyone can benefit from the beauty which can be created within these areas.

Thornhill Benches - Turning the dying high street into a thriving community hub- Broxap

Crewe Town Centre, Cheshire

Thornhill Benches - Turning the dying high street into a thriving community hub- Broxap

Crewe Town Centre, Cheshire

Having a well presented high street could help to encourage shoppers to use our high streets. Creating a nice environment is in our eyes pinnacle to increasing the number of people in our town.

Shopping in the High Street boasts many different benefits, from being able to try on the latest outfit, to the social implications of sitting in a nice café. Getting out and about can help to banish loneliness and also allow people to get more exercise and fresh air!

Everyone, no matter what age can begin to enjoy the High Street again this year. So let’s stand together to ‘save our high streets’ and encourage more people to bring their business back to our streets.