News centre

Join the conversation about Acomb Front Street’s future

Fruit stall

Published Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Businesses, residents and visitors are being asked what they love and what they’d like to change about Acomb’s Front Street.

The council committed to a £50,000 investment in Acomb Front Street, one of the city’s most important shopping areas, before the pandemic brought about even larger challenges to high streets across the UK.

Acomb’s Front Street plays a vital role in the community and the wider city, and is home to many established and well-loved local independent retailers and community spaces. It has a lower than national average proportion of empty units, with occupancy rates bucking the UK trend by increasing significantly in the last three years.

The council is now asking for views which will help to keep Acomb Front Street at the heart Acomb’s economy and community.

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy and strategic planning, said:

There has never been a more important time to take a close look at and plan the futures of our shopping areas.

“The pandemic presents huge challenges for many businesses and residents. It has accelerated many of the changes generally on the high street we knew were coming, like an increase in online shopping. 

“But the last year has also seen many people reconnect with their communities and use the independent, local shops which give York its special character. We want to combine that community spirit with the huge potential of Front Street to offer a welcoming place where local people can live, work and relax.

“Engaging communities safely is a challenge, so we’re combining a COVID-secure market research exercise with online engagement. The market research approach is safe and will represent a wide range of views, but we also hope many local people will join this conversation through the media and online.”

Last year we postponed the survey because of COVID-19. Your views in the survey will be used to create a ‘brief’ of community ideas which we can check with local people before the council executive decides what improvements to make.

500 residents have already had a new COVID-secure knock on their door from IdB, a market research company working with the council.  The council is working alongside IdB to ask for feedback and ideas from a diverse and representative cross section of Acomb residents. The surveys will be dropped with residents in a sterile bag, along with gloves, an antiviral wipe and a return bag. The market researcher will then return later that day to collect the questionnaire.

Residents can also get involved by: