Study to show the state of town centre

Benchmark exercise at Morpeth Market Place with memebers of Morpeth Town Team (left to right) Ken Brown and George Williams.'REF 2910148175

Benchmark exercise at Morpeth Market Place with memebers of Morpeth Town Team (left to right) Ken Brown and George Williams.'REF 2910148175

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Surveys will be carried out of businesses and shoppers to give an insight into the state of Morpeth.

The benchmarking exercise will be undertaken by Morpeth Town Team, made up of the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, Morpeth Town Council, the Greater Morpeth Development Trust and Sanderson Arcade, to identify strengths and weaknesses of the town centre.

It will help to inform the developing Neighbourhood Plan and target resources to address identified issues.

The study follows a similar survey by consultants last year, but this time local councillors and business leaders have been trained to do the work, and it will become an annual exercise to build up a clearer picture of priorities.

Town Team member and Morpeth councillor Ken Brown said: “We will be getting data on car park usage, footfall in prime locations and shop vacancies, and there will be on-street interviews with people using the town centre.

“We will also be visiting all businesses in the town centre and asking them to complete a survey to tell us how they feel about business in the town and what needs to be changed.

“There are things identified in the last survey that have changed now, with car parking charges being removed and the revamp of the market, so we will see the impact of that and we expect the results to be different.”

Surveys will be conducted on Saturday and Wednesday and one other day through the week, with further dates if necessary.