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Economic health of town in good shape
9:50am Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
A report on the economic well-being of Devizes shows that the town is fending off the recession.
During the autumn of 2012, information on 12 key economic performance indicators was collated by the Devizes Community Area Partnership (DCAP) and Devizes Town Council.
This data was submitted to the organisation Action for Market Towns to allow Devizes to be able to compare itself with towns of similar size, regionally and nationally. These details were released at a meeting of Wiltshire towns in the Corn Exchange last Tuesday.
Town mayor Coun Kelvin Nash said: “The results show some encouraging trends for Devizes, with vacancy rates significantly lower than regional and national statistics. Early indications show good levels of footfall, exceeding other averages on market days.
“A survey of businesses show a good number of long-standing enterprises that have been trading in Devizes centre for over ten years.
“Businesses and shoppers alike have cited issues with the cost and availability of parking. The benchmarking team is working on strategies to discuss with Wiltshire Council that may help to alleviate the situation.”
People surveyed in the town centre gave overwhelmingly positive responses in terms of the market, the physical appearance, safety and convenience of Devizes, said Coun Nash.
He said: “There is much work still to be done in analysing the data and we look forward to using it to make Devizes an even greater place to live, work and visit. We hope to get your help in repeating the survey in 2013, so this time next year we can monitor the improvements.”
Simon Jacobs, a member of DCAP and managing partner of Winkworth’s estate agent, said: “We are hoping to use this report as a prospectus for the town but also as a means of linking the town, business community and schools. We would love to get the kids out there canvassing businesses and making contacts.”
Guest house operator Tony Aldridge said: “The many positive comments were encouraging, and the constructive suggestions are being explored. We hope that with more support some of the data can be collected at different times during the year, to develop the pattern and monitor the improvements.”