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.”

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Author: Marc Renshaw

Artist

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