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Exeter tops poll for city centre amenities
Posted on: September 20th 2019
Section: Member news

A new national report has highlighted Exeter as one of the top locations in the UK for its city centre amenities.

The report by the influential Centre for Cities, report examines how cities across the country are considering their offer to consumers, including museums, cultural offerings and leisure facilities as well as shops, cafes and bars and other attractions

It ranks Exeter eighth in the UK for day-to-day amenities per 10,000 people.

City Council Leader Phil Bialyk welcomed the finding of the report.

He said: “We have worked hard to ensure that the city centre is an attractive place for everyone who lives, works in or visits the city, and I am delighted that this hard work has been recognised in a national report.

“We have invested heavily in the city centre to ensure that it remains sustainable in the future. It has been a top priority. This report officially recognises what we already know, that Exeter is one of the best places to live in the country.”

This report sets out the role cities play as places of consumption. It finds that:

  • Cities are vibrant places where people go to spend time and money. Despite sometimes being characterised as dull job machines or simply playgrounds of the rich, this is not the reality.
  • Cities offer a more diverse set of amenities than other parts of the country. A trip to the theatre or a celebratory meal out is most likely to take place in a city, as nearly two-thirds of specialist amenities are in cities.
  • The density and scale of cities means they can sustain a richer set of amenities. This is most true of city centres. Their central location makes them accessible to enough customers to cater for more niche markets. On average, a quarter of city centre amenities are of a specialist nature.
  • But not all cities offer this variety. There is a clear relationship between the economic strength of a city and the diversity of its amenity offer.
  • Cities with stronger economies house a richer set of amenities, with many specialist and premium options for consumers. In contrast, cities with weaker economies struggle to provide more than the necessities. The limited spending power of those living and working in these cities mean it is difficult to sustain much more than the day-to-day, such as supermarkets and cafés, and their city centres suffer from high vacancy rates.

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