Town centres need as much love as our picturesque villages
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