Helping Bristol’s high streets recover from the pandemic

A sign on the approach to the footbridge does little to entice shoppers to Brislington Hill

Last autumn Bristol City Council reached out to businesses, residents and visitors to understand what improvements are needed at local shopping hubs as they emerge from the pandemic.

With plans to invest £4.7m, the council is now looking for more detail on the suggested improvements and activities.

There is an online survey for each of the 10 priority hubs which include Brislington Village, the Stockwood precinct, Two Mille Hill (the Bristol side of Kingswood town centre) and Church Road in St George.

The most popular improvement suggestions for Brislington Village are greenery and floral displays, more seating and culture/events.

Half of the businesses surveyed recorded a decrease in footfall over the previous 12 months and only half confident about their survival over the next 12 months. There was a mixed response as to their level of satisfaction with the area and a lot of complaints about the footbridge, which is felt to be an eyesore.

Feedback on the hub at Stockwood Road/Hollway Road found it was generally seen as being tired and dilapidated but has the benefit of a car park and large open area, which has potential to host events and for additional seating.

Hollway Road in Stockwood

greenery and floral displays, culture and events and litter/recycling improvements.

At Two Mile Hill, where most of the businesses are small independents, two-thirds of those surveyed reported a decrease in footfall over the previous 12 months but most were feeling confident about their survival over the coming year.

But both local people and traders felt the area had a general feeling of being “dull and grey”. The most popular improvement suggestions were for greenery and floral displays, culture and events, and litter/recycling.

Businesses in Church Road in St George generally felt confident about the future although many (64%) said that they would like to see a wider range of shops and services.

The main improvements they would like to see are more greenery, litter and recycling facilities and more events and activities, especially in the evenings, including an increasing lobby to restore the former cinema in St George’s Hall (last used as a Wetherspoon’s pub).

The survey is at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/BristolHighStreetSuggestions/

The deadline is Sunday 6th March.

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