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400 town shoppers take on university challenge

(February 15, 2009)

MORE than 400 Warminster shoppers took up the challenge of being quizzed by members of Southampton University’s School of Geography  about their opinions of retailing in the town this week.

A spokeswoman for the group told that the exercise had been a repeat of a similar one last year and was part of a much larger assessment of market towns across England - although there is a particular focus on Somerset, including Castle Cary and Shepton Mallet.

The Warminster assessment was being done to provide a ‘control’ study to measure other centres against as this town is only three miles from the Somerset border and had not seen many changes over the past year.

“They were dead right about that last bit as we were putting up with the pathetically slow High Street improvement last year and it is still with us today,” said Steve Dancey,

Although the information finding exercise was commissioned by a large retailer - we don’t know which one - it doesn’t signal any particular interest in the town on the part of that retail group.

As well as the shoppers the geographers also spoke to 81 of the town’s retailers and the general feedback from them was general unhappiness about the town centre roadworks.

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