High Street survey as CCTV is installed
Downend’s high street area, with the recently-closed Lloyds Bank branch on the left
PEOPLE are being asked for their views on the future of Downend’s high street area.
South Gloucestershire Council has published a survey on its website asking people to spend five minutes giving their views to help shape “how Downend will look, feel and work in the years to come”.
The shopping area on Badminton Road, North Street and Downend Road has been badly hit by the pandemic, with non-essential shops having to shut during lockdown, cafes and restaurants open for takeaways only and visits reduced as people were told to stay at home.
The most recent blow came in early March, when the Lloyds Bank branch shut, leaving an empty unit on the corner of Badminton Road and Cleve Road.
But the area has been promised a share of more than £500,000 which the council is allocating to schemes to help traders bounce back.
The council said: “We know that our local high streets have faced significant challenges for a number of years, and the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation, making trading difficult in these uncertain times.
“The council is committed to supporting high streets and has allocated an additional £120k support on top of the recently launched £400k ‘Help us Thrive’ grant – from which Downend will directly benefit.
“We are interested in understanding how we can support Downend now and into the future to help it thrive.”
“By taking part in this 5-minute survey you can shape how the Council utilises this funding, influencing how Downend will look, feel and work in the years to come.”
People can find the survey online at the consultations section of the council’s website or directly at southglos.researchfeedback.net/s/DownendHighSt.
Anyone who is not online can call the council on 01454 866 895 to ask to be sent a paper copy, which can then be returned by Freepost.
The survey is live until April 23.
While it is underway, work to instal the area’s CCTV camera system is set to start.
Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council is paying the initial installation costs of around £30,000, using money paid by developers into the Community Infrastructure Levy fund.
The cameras will be monitored remotely and can tilt, pan and zoom to pinpoint suspicious incidents or behaviour.
Once it is installed the costs of monitoring the system, estimated to be around £10,000, will be picked up by South Gloucestershire Council.
A council spokesperson said installation work was due to begin at the start of April with a view to having the system up and running around July.