Barnstaple's residents, businesses and visitors are being invited to take part in a survey which aims to gather insights into thoughts, opinions and attitudes about the town centre, in order to guide positive change in the future.
North Devon Council is running the survey for six weeks from Monday 22 January. The council says the results of the survey will help ensure the success of ongoing regeneration initiatives in Barnstaple town centre, such as the Market Quarter project.
An initial survey, carried out in June 2023 will act as a baseline to measure people's perceptions and views of Barnstaple for future surveys. Results of this showed that participants considered the main reasons to visit Barnstaple were the shopping (58%), the town's social offer (10%), the Pannier Market (5%), with other reasons making up 27% of responses. The survey showed that participants believed the town's top three strengths to be its shopping offer, social and leisure provision and the Pannier Market, and felt its top three weaknesses were limited entertainment and culture, poor maintenance and limited shopping. The survey also showed that 72% of people felt safe in Barnstaple.
Lead Member for Economic Development and Regeneration at North Devon Council, Councillor Malcolm Prowse says: "By conducting regular surveys we can measure the impact current regeneration projects are having on the perception of Barnstaple town centre. A huge amount of work has gone into creating a safer, more vibrant and cultural hub for residents, businesses and visitors alike, both by the council and partner organisations. This has been delivered through initiatives such as Safer Barnstaple and the Market Quarter project, with its improvements to the wonderful Pannier Market and upcoming work on 36/7 Boutport Street.
"It is important that we understand how these improvements are impacting people's opinions on the town, and where areas for improvement are identified, this will help to guide positive change in the future. Ultimately, the results will help to aid economic development in the town, making Barnstaple an even nicer place to live, work and visit."
The survey will be available on the council's website and paper copies will be available in various locations in the town centre, including Green Lanes, the Pannier Market and selected businesses. The survey will be open between Monday 22 January and Monday 4 March.