Unhealthiest UK Town – Grimsby Telegraph 2nd Nov 2018

Grimsby tops table as Britain’s ‘unhealthiest high street’ beating 69 other towns and cities

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Grimsby has been named as Britain’s ‘unhealthiest high street’ while Edinburgh came out as the ‘healthiest high street’


The Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) ranks 70 major towns and cities on their high streets’ impact on the public’s health and wellbeing.

The scoring system, which is rooted on the types of businesses found in the towns or cities’ main retail areas, sees Grimsby as having the unhealthiest high street, while Edinburgh came out as the healthiest.

This ranking excludes London high streets, which have been scored seperately.

Freeman Street in Grimsby
Freeman Street in Grimsby (Image: Jon Corken/GrimsbyLive)

Chief executive of the Royal Society of Public Health, Shirley Cramer said: “While the face of the British high street continues to change, the environmental and economic factors that influence inequalities in health outcomes across the country remain stubbornly intractable.

“Our health on the high street rankings illustrate how unhealthy businesses concentrate in areas which already experience higher levels of deprivation, obesity and lower life expectancy.

Top 10 ‘unhealthiest’ British high streets were ranked as:

  1. Grimsby
  2. Walsall
  3. Blackpool
  4. Stoke-On-Trent
  5. Sunderland
  6. Northampton
  7. Bolton
  8. Wolverhampton
  9. Huddersfield
  10. Bradford

“Reshaping these high streets to be more health-promoting could serve as a tool to help redress this imbalance.”

The league table features in a new RSPH report, Health on the High Street: Running on empty, which follows the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on measures designed to reinvigorate the nation’s high streets.

Following on from the original RSPH Health on the High Street published in 2015, this follow up assesses changes in British retail areas over the past three years.

Top 10 ‘healthiest’ British high streets were ranked as:

  1. Edinburgh
  2. Canterbury
  3. Taunton
  4. Shrewsbury
  5. Cheltenham
  6. York
  7. Brighton and Hove
  8. Eastbourne
  9. Exeter
  10. Cambridge

It notes changes in British high streets with off-licences and empty shops seen as having negative influence on health, and cafés and vape shops having a positive influence.

Ms Cramer added: “While we broadly welcome the package of measures announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer this week, we are concerned that they do not go far enough.

“Local authorities, who are well placed to make changes, are currently operating with one hand tied behind their backs due to ongoing funding cuts, particularly in some of the more deprived areas that feature prominently in these rankings.

“Many local authorities are doing good work with the resources they have, but they need to be backed, both financially and with enhanced powers, by central Government if they are to succeed in reshaping high streets for the better.”


Show continues at R&D Property Services

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Ridgewell and Ducklop Property services continues at …blip until the end of the year Thurs to Sat 9am-4pm.

We continue to ask ‘What can we fill our empty shops with?’

Will the budget rate relief proposal of 1.5 billion really save the high street after many years of incessant austerity? Time will tell…



Ridgewell & Ducklop Property Services

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Ridgewell and Ducklop Property Services

…blip is a collaboration between North East Lincolnshire artists Ellie Collins and Marc Renshaw

A report in the local media in April 2018 revealed that sixteen major stores closed in Grimsby in 2017 with just six opening. So what is next for Grimsby’s high street?

As the economic downturn continues to decimate our town, the future is precarious for remaining businesses in a world that is increasingly turning to online shopping. Such uncertainty raises many questions, so how do we address the following?

Can we repurpose empty spaces to breathe new life into the town centre?

Are budget stores and coffee shops going to bring salvation to our economy?

Would an immediate reduction in rents and rates offer a reprieve?

Are you happy with your town? How can we make Grimsby a good place to live?

In an age of Netflix, is the development of a cinema multiplex a twentieth century answer to a twenty first century problem?

How do we build on the histories of our empty properties?

Should empty shops be converted to housing or used by social enterprises?

The current project at …blip – a space for art takes the form of an estate agent’s window (another industry under threat from online alternatives) to spotlight a handful of the town’s empty spaces.

Ridgewell and Ducklop Property Services comments on the limitations of conventional marketing to promote the merits of our town centre, address its manifold issues and attract investment.

We consider whether, in light of increasing levels of deprivation in Grimsby, our town centre is able to meet the real needs of our community or raise aspirations for local people?

In early July 2018, The Greater Grimsby Deal was formally signed to the tune of £60m. Will this really seal a brighter future for North East Lincolnshire?


…blip – a space for art is a series of changing installations viewable from the street, made possible by Vacant Space; a programme by Axisweb enabling artists, creatives and projects to access empty commercial properties across the UK


…blip – a space for art
8 Victoria Street
North East Lincolnshire
DN31 1DP



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Dates: 30.09.18 – ongoing

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