For 70% a local high street is a vital part of a healthy society. It provides a mix of local identity, social cohesion plus a practical local resource.
Despite the expansion of out of town alternatives, 60% think the high street should be somewhere they can do the bulk of their shopping. Half see it in equally practical terms as somewhere to go for specific things or as an ad hoc shopping place.
Practicalities aside, the social role of the high street is still very important for large groups of people right across the economic and social divide. Almost two thirds (63%) feel a high street should be a place to meet people. Over half (54%) say it should be a place where the elderly can socialise or where the young can shop and meet friends safely (56%)
The function of a high street becomes even more important among the young themselves, with two thirds (66%) of younger adults studied seeing the high street’s role as a safe shopping and meeting place for the younger people.
Practicalities aside, the social role of the high street is still very important for large groups of people right across the economic and social divide