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An update on what you said about Kensington and Chelsea’s Future High Streets

Thank you for taking the time to fill out the questionnaires. We have received almost 1,000 comments from over 500 people. This input has provided valuable insights into how our high streets are currently used and what should be our priorities for the future. There is a lot of information to digest so we have set out key findings for you bellow. Your feedback provided a baseline of evidence to shape local action plans that we are working on to help improve our high streets. Rather than policy documents, these are templates designed to be continuously adapted. We will share more about these with you soon. Key research findings How do you get to your local high street? Probably walking. This is by far the most common way of getting to high streets across the borough and all age groups. Cycling came second and public transport third. What do you think is the best way to buffer traffic noise on a busy road? Most likely, planting trees along the pavement. Residents think trees are better than benches with shrubs which could create obstacles for people with reduced mobility and other conditions. The top reasons for visiting high streets today are daily shopping and eating. But what will happen as online shopping keeps growing? We heard interesting ideas at workshops with residents’ associations and members of the Citizens’ Panel. When asked what changes they want to see on their high streets, a resident said: “Create the high street as a place you go to for experience, maybe a different experience every day of the week, a place for all types of people and families, and budgets. A place for everyone”. Others encouraged the Council to draw on inspiring examples to make people pause and increase dwell time. We heard markets, festivals, and new pop-up shops on vacant retail units are the top priorities to improve the high street experience. Explore the full reports to find out more about the unique strengths, challenges, and ambitions for each of our high streets. K&C Future High Streets Questionnaire Report January 2022 K&C Future High Streets Workshops Report October 2021

Posted on 18th February 2022

by Felipe Villela

Have you heard about the new Business Improvement Districts in Kensington and Chelsea?

Local businesses, cultural organisations, and the Council are coming together to develop a number of new Business Improvement Districts (‘BIDs’), which is a key strand of the High Streets Programme. BIDs provide a mechanism for local business rates payers to pay an extra Levy to create a pot of money which can be spent on improvements to the local town centre or High Street – from small improvements like more regular cleaning, plants, or CCTV, to more ambitious large events or seasonal markets. Things that make the area thrive— not only commercially but also for residents. The Brompton Road partnership is proposing a BID in and around Brompton Road, crossing over into Westminster as well. The businesses are currently voting and a ‘yes’ majority would see a new BID come into existence. Similarly, the King’s Road partnership is proposing a BID in Chelsea, around King’s Road. The close of ballot for that BID is later in the year, 25th November. A new BID on Kensington High Street is also in the works and there is the potential for many more across our local high streets and town centres if the demand and desire is there. We will keep you updated as things progress on these, and whenever there is further opportunity for engagement. The BID partnerships have engaged with the relevant local residents and representatives for the best part of 2 years now, to make sure that the BID proposals work for everyone. What do you think about Business Improvement Districts? Can you spot where new BIDs are coming forward on this High Streets interactive map ? Please feel free to leave your comments. You can find more information about the BIDs on their respective websites:

Posted on 21st September 2021

by Reisha Gill

We need to talk about the role of local businesses and employment spaces on our high streets

Six weeks of consultation and over 400 comments provide interesting insights about the ways in which people are currently using the high streets. We are looking for more feedback about businesses and the challenges they face after the pandemic; would you be able to help us and share your thoughts? Head to the Business and Community questionnaire to have your say. It will take you less than a minute to answer all five questions. Your views will help gauge the best strategies to support businesses and employment spaces in the future. Most respondents have said the number one priority should be to help local entrepreneurs and social enterprises who might not afford to operate on our high streets to rent vacant properties. Other popular ideas include allowing businesses to stay open for longer and to change use during the evening. Like a shop that becomes an events space at the end of the day. Some of these proposals require funding, so we want to know how residents feel about a voluntary contribution. Should this money be spent locally and on projects chosen by residents – from greening to cultural events? Details will be discussed in the future. What do you think? Please share your views through this quick questionnaire . And tell your friends, neighbours and work colleagues to get involved too! The Future High Streets consultation closes on 30 September 2021.

Posted on 7th September 2021

by Felipe Villela