The results for the 'buy local' campaign are here, which was a nationwide survey run by the thebestof. The results show that generally, nationwide, the top ingredients that residents feel the local high street lacks are a fishmonger, greengrocer and butcher. Sadly, these all used to be abundant businesses in Hertford, with now only a few scattered between Hertford and Ware, and only a mobile fishmongers which visits Hertford and Ware. Although these businesses have dwindled over the years, largely replaced by supermarkets, it is interesting to note how busy the weekly and monthly markets are when they come to town, with huge queues forming for the fishmongers stall, and a big increase in foot traffic when the farmers market is in Herford.
Other areas highlighted by the national survey include a lack of libraries, bakers and toy shops. We are proud to acknowledge that both Hertford and Ware have very good, well stocked public libraries, with the staff being more than happy to help with anything that you are looking for. Hertford and Ware both benefit from a variety of bakers, but do lack toy shops. Again, thinking back a few years, a toy shop in Hertford on Fore Street formed a childhood memory, but is sadly no longer around.
Factors highlighted that would make people shop more regularly on the local high street included a better variety of shops, more shops, free parking and later/earlier opening hours.
The majority of people felt that local high streets formed a vital part of a healthy society, with people feeling that a conscious effort needed to be made to shop locally. It was also strongly felt that the government should do more to encourage and support small retailers, and that it’s the local independent stores that give a town its personality. Another important factor that is considered by the majority is that local independent stores are a crucial employer in the town. These are all considerations that apply to Hertford and its residents.
The majority of those surveyed felt that their local high street had declined in the last 3 years, with the most prevalent reasons being a poorer variety of shops, fewer shops and more expensive parking. For those that felt that their local high street had improved in the last 3 years gave reasons of a better variety of shops, more shops and cleaner streets.
Despite what looks like a grim reading, we do have in Hertford a vibrant town centre, with an exceptional reputation for evening entertainment. This may not be to everybody’s taste but is still worth noting. What is also worth noting is the fact that now the refurbished car park has opened, people can still be overwhelmed by the wide variety of shops that are still in town.
Overall, Hertford is very much a vibrant, affluent and extremely pleasurable place to live, shop and visit.
What do you think? What would you like to see more of in Hertford? Has the newly refurbished car park persuaded you to go into the town centre more often? Leave your comments below.
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi there, my name's Victoria and as owner of thebestof Hertford and Ware it's my job to find and promote the best information, events and businesses that Hertford and Ware have to offer!