Over 1000 residents and businesses in West Kirby have taken part in a landmark survey on the town’s future.
The survey was commissioned by One West Kirby, a new Community Interest Company set up by a group of local residents.
David Rawlinson, one of the founding members of One West Kirby, said, “We’d like to thank all those who took the time to complete the survey.
“This is our first step in seeking a consensus among residents, businesses and community groups as to how the future should look and how we can work together to help shape that future.
“It comes at a time when there is intense pressure on high streets, vacant shops in the town and imminent change in the occupation of parts of The Concourse all of which present an opportunity to help shape changes to the centre of our town.”
Despite the impact of COVID-19, the survey found the three most important things people want from West Kirby town centre are:
- A good variety of shops (80.78%)
- Cafes, restaurants and bars (63.9%)
- A good quality environment (50.93%)
The top four improvements the survey’s respondents called for in West Kirby were:
- More independent shops (65.07%)
- More community & green spaces (57.17%)
- A range of events such as markets and festivals (50.25%)
- A safer & friendlier pedestrian environment with fewer cars (43.12%)
Over 64% of people agreed that it was important to encourage the growth of, and the establishment of more, local businesses. 93.4% of people think local residents should play an active role in designing the future of the town centre.
The survey also uncovered areas which respondents believed could benefit from improvement, including:
- The Concourse – “it’s old, dated and out of place”
- The need to improve security and policing
- Parking and traffic management
- Public realm improvements
- Property upkeep and maintenance
Feedback demonstrated a real appetite for change to enhance West Kirby’s position as a place to live and a tourist/leisure destination, including:
- Focus on “green” and sustainable infrastructure to enhance green spaces and make the town more cycle friendly and energy efficient.
- Invest in our key attraction – the Promenade with more active frontages and facilities overlooking the Marine Lake.
- Protect and enhance the beach areas – key for tourism.
- Invest in proper facilities for all age groups to promote a family-orientated, child-friendly and flexible working environment.
The full results can be found on the One West Kirby website – www.onewestkirby.org
One West Kirby will work with local businesses, residents, visitors and the local authority, to use the results of the survey to promote a community-led creative vision for the future of the town.
The group is actively seeking and encouraging people with diverse backgrounds to join its working group. For more information, please contact [email protected].