According to a survey carried out by the Preston City Centre Business Improvement District (BID), almost 85% of respondents feel the city centre is a ‘safe place to be’.
As part of its manifesto, BID pledged to conduct the survey of Preston visitors each year, with a total of 505 responses in 2018.
Of those surveyed, 60% rated the city’s leisure offer as good or very good with 49% stating the city’s galleries/museums and culture were of good quality.
52% of respondents thought the high-street was a ‘better place to be’ following improvements made to Fishergate, an increase of over 10% on the previous year.
BID Chair John Boydell said: “The survey underlines the positivity around Preston city centre. Tens of thousands of people are using the city centre on a weekly basis. More than 45% of survey respondents who visited the city centre live out of town, proving that visiting Preston is a conscious decision. We were pleased to read that almost 70% of respondents are acutely aware of the BID’s work with 75% believing the body adds value to the city
“Since we launched this survey back in 2010, we have seen a shift in public opinion and attitude towards Preston and, while there is always more work to be done, stakeholders continue to make positive strides towards a more prosperous city centre.”
Andrew Stringer, Manager of St. George’s Shopping Centre & Chair of the City Retail Forum, said: “I am delighted that this year’s survey shows increased positivity. There’s a palpable energised feel to the city at the moment”.
Andy Coverdale from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the chair of the city’s Business Crime Reduction Partnership said: “The survey results demonstrate what many people in Preston already know; our city centre is predominantly a safe place to be. The recently improved street-scene is a major positive for the city and has never looked better. I, and many other people that I speak to are optimistic about Preston’s future.”
Margaret Mason, an independent Florist on Friargate, said: “It is wonderful to know that people’s perceptions of Preston city centre match my belief that this is a great place to do business.”