Following the last lockdown, we launched a Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) scheme to help revive retail centres around Eastleigh Borough. Shoppers, residents and business-operators from Hedge End, West End, Chandler’s Ford, Botley and Hamble, in addition to the town centre, were invited to get in touch about their experiences including operating safely during lockdown, future innovation and local community regeneration.
This work was supported by over £118,000 of government funding from the European Regional Development Fund (RDF). This funding also supports practical measures so that customers can return to shops completely confident that it is safe to do so.
The Borough Gems social media campaign shines a spotlight on the local businesses across the Borough who worked hard to serve their customers during lockdowns and how they were able to reopen safely.
The RHSSF Survey
In February and March 2021, we conducted a survey for residents and businesses to gain a better understanding of how people see their local high street and how we can improve them.
We asked for responses from anyone who lives, shops, works, or visits Chandler’s Ford, Hamble, West End, Botley, Hedge End Village and Eastleigh town centre and more than a thousand Eastleigh Borough residents responded. Almost half – 49.583% - responded about Eastleigh town centre.
Respondents were asked about their local high street, including what they enjoyed about it, what could be improved and what three words best described it. The majority of respondents - 66% - indicated that they walk to their local town centre, amongst other methods of transport. Over 58% of respondents also travelled by car, with 6.26% choosing to cycle.
The top five reasons for visiting high streets included grocery shopping, post office and bank visits, and trips to cafes and coffee shops. Respondents mentioned the history and the potential of the area, the success of Hedge End market and the feeling of community. In Eastleigh, 126 respondents specifically mentioned that they would like to see a wider variety of shops.
The council’s Head of Economy and Business Camilla Sharp said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part and made their views count. This response has been really encouraging and it has been very interesting to read the feedback, especially the words people used to describe their local shopping areas.
“The results of this survey will help shape the future work of the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund Team as they compile recommendations for the whole Borough.”
Reopening High Streets Safely Video
The RHSSF team went out and about to speak to just a few of the hundreds of local businesses across the Borough about welcoming customers safely back into their shops as lockdown eased.
Thank you to everyone who took part: Steam Town Brew Co, Dress to Go Botley Mills, Shop Equality, Prime Time, Katarina’s, Sea Sky, The King and Queen pub, Card Gallery, Good Companions and Waffles and Cream.
Get in touch
Email the RHSSF Team
- Email: RHSS@eastleigh.gov.uk