Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, is today asking people to tell Historic England what they love about their local high street.
From Monday 20 – Sunday 26 September, the public body is asking people ‘What do you love about your local high street?’. Whether it’s the memory of the place you bought your first ever album, a shop that’s become part of your weekend routine, or a place you go to meet friends and family, Historic England wants to hear about it. Those stories will come together to build a national picture of what makes high streets so special and to learn what matters most when it comes to their future.
Recently, Historic England commissioned YouGov to find out how people are feeling about their local high street. 73% of people said their local high street is important to them, 54% of people feel pessimistic about their local high street’s future and 40% feel motivated to take action to help their high street’s future.
New research for Historic England shows that 92% of people care what their high street looks like and 90% agree that it’s worth trying to save historic features when trying to improve local places.
Later in the conversation with the nation about the future of high streets, Historic England will be seeking to find out what people value about their high street and their hopes for its future. Having crowd sourced this information, a programme of discussions and commissions will be created to further explore what high streets could be and look like in the future, all with the aim of empowering people to take action for their local high street.
Commenting on his love of the High Street, Andrew Gwynne said:
“I’m incredibly lucky to represent a constituency with more than one fantastic high street. As a lover of history, I’m grateful for the incredible local landmarks on our high streets. We’ve got Houldsworth Clock in Reddish, Dukinfield Town Hall on King Street and the Town Hall and park alongside Denton’s old market place to name just a few.
Town centres across Denton and Reddish have changed dramatically over the last 100 years, and recently our high streets have had to contend with a consumer shift to online retail. What we’ve seen over the last few years, however, is the resilience of the local high street. Great new businesses like the Post Room, Howard’s Bar and I Knead Pizza have breathed new life into our local area, and wonderfully complemented our existing businesses.
I would encourage anyone interested to get in touch with Historic England and let them know what you love about your high street.”
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:
“Throughout history high streets have been our gathering places; centres of commerce, conversation and community. They help make where we live unique and special.
Nearly half of all high streets were built before 1919. They are one of the most visited and enjoyed types of heritage in the country, a connection to our past and a key to our future. We know they are struggling, and their future is uncertain, and we think this is a timely moment to ask people about their future and consider the part we can all play in supporting these important places.”