Hart District Council have announced that the temporary pedestrianisation of a section of Fleet Road will begin on Monday 24th August.
As well as making Fleet a safe place to visit, this project provides the opportunity for the space to be used for events and activities. The Fleet Business Improvement District is providing support for businesses to use the space and is working with Fleet Town Council to deliver additional activities to attract people to the town. Hart District Council will also be providing outdoor seating and landscaping to improve the attractiveness of the space.
The Fleet Business Improvement District has published an outline document showing how the space can be used and we want to hear from community groups, sports clubs, businesses and charities who want to use this space in the centre of Fleet.
To get involved and host an event or activity in the space email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for businesses
Fleet BID recognises the short term challenges faced by businesses and will be working with businesses to enable them to make the most of the opportunities this presents to show the local community and beyond that Fleet is open for business and open for visitors.
How town centres are changing
COVID-19 has accelerated high street decline and the high street is no longer a place that people go to shop. The towns that people will choose to visit in the future will be those which provide a pleasant environment, are free of traffic and have activities to encourage people to stay longer.
Covid-19 has accelerated high street decline. Footfall is down 50%, online shopping is at 30% and many high street businesses will close. We, as you, see the negative posts on social media about Fleet, about people who travel to other towns or prefer to buy online. We live in an affluent area, but many local residents don’t shop in Fleet because they do not feel the town meets their needs. Yet every year the Fleet Food Festival, Christmas Festival and Carnival attract tens of thousands of people to the town. There are plenty of studies about town centre transformation, most recently the Grimsey Review: Build Back Better, Covid-19 supplement for town centres, which sets out the need for change as high streets are no longer shopping destinations but need a mix of business types as well as amenity space and events to attract people to a town.
We would urge anyone with an interest in this to watch this video of Bill Grimsey making a compelling case for the need for change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuqQK164WaY&feature=youtu.be