How 300,000 people influenced the future of our high streets

In 2018 DCLG asked for evidence to document what our high streets would look like in 2030. Whilst many businesses and organisations responded, there was a distinct gap in the evidence submitted. Next to no one bothered to ask the public at large what they felt was needed to ensure high streets remain a thriving part of our communities. As part of our wider #WDYT campaign we thought we would set the record straight. 

Using the Maybe* platform we set out to ensure the public’s voice was included. We reached out to over 300,000 people, asking what they felt was important in the future of our high streets.

Our evidence incorporating the opinions of the public has since been published as part of the review. It can be found here.

Key data points from the general public

  • 78% worry about their high street
  • 88% think social challenges are facing their high street
  • 84.2% of people said things will continue to get worse
  • 68.4% of people asked want to see a better variety of shops in one year’s time, with an emphasis on independent retailers
  • 74% of people said their local council isn’t investing in the right areas
  • 41.2% asked for more and better shops
  • 29.4% asked for better / free parking
  • 23.5% asked for lower rates for businesses

Try it for yourself. Click on the Facebook post, check out the results, and add a comment to trigger the quiz.

"The public plays an essential role in the development of our local high streets. We felt it was essential that their voices be included in this call for evidence..."


"...Through insightful targeting and a chatbot on Facebook Messenger, we reached thousands of people and asked for their opinions.

Overall, our findings show that people are worried about their high streets - 78% of people agree with this. By breaking down the worries, concerns, and desires of the public, we were able to deliver clear insights and recommendations to the committee.”

Polly Barnfield OBE, Founder and CEO of Maybe*