Praise for 'safe' Preston city centre
The vast majority of visitors to Preston feel the city centre is a safe place to be, according to a new survey.
As part of its manifesto, Preston City Centre Business Improvement District pledged to conduct a survey of Preston visitors each year, with a total of 505 responses received in 2018.
Of those surveyed, 85 per cent thought the city centre was safe.
Sixty per cent rated the city’s leisure offer as good or very good with 49 per cent stating the city’s galleries/museums and culture were of good quality.
52 per cent of respondents thought the high-street was a "better place to be" following improvements made to Fishergate, an increase of more than 10 per cent on the previous year.
BID Chairman 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 per cent 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 per cent of respondents are acutely aware of the BID’s work with 75 per cent 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 and 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”.