Town cen­tres need as much love as our pic­turesque vil­lages

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

CAN we learn to love our less pic­turesque town cen­tres?

You only have to visit one of the beau­ti­ful mar­ket towns or vil­lages Buck­ing­hamshire boasts to sense the com­mu­nity pride in th­ese ar­eas. Whether in Wen­dover, Che­sham, Mar­low or any of the other flour­ish­ing mar­ket towns in the area, th­ese smaller town cen­tres are thriv­ing com­mu­nity hubs.

Th­ese vil­lages con­tinue to pros­per pre­dom­i­nantly be­cause of the pride that lo­cal peo­ple take in them and the loy­alty that the vil­lages in­spire in the lo­cal com­mu­nity – the de­sire to shop lo­cally, support lo­cal causes and take care of the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment.

They may not have the ben­e­fit of in­fra­struc­ture that our county’s big­ger towns en­joy, nor do they of­ten ben­e­fit from eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment projects which can of­ten end up be­ing de­liv­ered else­where but th­ese smaller towns and vil­lages are tended to, looked after and sup­ported by their lo­cal com­mu­nity.

That’s not to say th­ese are sleepy eco­nomic back­wa­ters – th­ese pic­turesque vil­lages are also ma­jor play­ers in the Buck­ing­hamshire econ­omy, at­tract­ing vis­i­tors and busi­nesses alike.

Our larger town cen­tres on the other hand, of­ten seem ne­glected by com­par­i­son. Per­haps if we had as much love and af­fec­tion for our town cen­tres as we do for our smaller mar­ket towns, we would see the same re­gen­er­a­tive boost and boom­ing econ­omy.

Buck­ing­hamshire needs to be seen as a whole, as op­posed to pock­ets of beauty in­ter­spersed with more im­per­sonal, com­mer­cial big towns.

We need to look again at our large town cen­tres and ap­pre­ci­ate all they have to of­fer. We need to en­cour­age en­trepreneurs to look at the space avail­able in the big­ger towns and en­sure that they con­sider us­ing th­ese spa­ces to showcase what they have to of­fer.

We need to take pride in the nooks and cran­nies that High Wy­combe and Ayles­bury of­fer, not just those in the more scenic ar­eas.

Buck­ing­hamshire’s high streets have great po­ten­tial whether it’s within small mar­ket towns or big towns.

Wher­ever you live we are all part of ‘Team Buck­ing­hamshire’ and a com­bi­na­tion of both small vil­lages and large com­mer­cial town cen­tres, com­plete with the in­fra­struc­ture and wealth of re­sources that only a larger town can pro­vide, is the best way to en­sure a suc­cess­ful Buck­ing­hamshire in terms of both the qual­ity of life we all en­joy and eco­nomic pros­per­ity.

We need to ap­pre­ci­ate all as­pects of the rich ta­pes­try that is this won­der­ful county. Be­cause Buck­ing­hamshire is worth tak­ing pride in – in all its var­ied glory.

Philippa Bat­ting Buck­ing­hamshire Business First

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