Britain’s Unhealthiest High Streets Revealed
The Royal Society for Public Health have looked at the various businesses found on high streets across Britain, and produced a league table of the UK’s unhealthiest high streets.
Areas were scored negatively based on their volume of businesses which were deemed as having a negative impact on public health. These included fast food outlets, tanning salons, bookmakers and loan shops. Towns were marked as healthier if they included more businesses which can have a positive impact, such as leisure centres, health clubs and libraries.
Preston’s high street was named the unhealthiest in Britain, an outcome which came as no shock to Preston Council’s deputy leader, John Swindells.
“There are no surprises here,” he says. “These results mirror our own concerns. It’s not all bad news. We are seeing a greater variety of shops, restaurants and bars opening here.”
Other towns topping the unhealthy list included Middlesbrough, Coventry, Blackpool and Northampton – showing that the north of England and the Midlands seems to have the highest concentration of unhealthy businesses.
On the other end of the scale, Shrewsbury came out on top, as its high street was awarded the title of healthiest in the UK. Similarly positively-scored high streets were those in Ayr, Salisbury and Perth.
The Royal Society for Public Health are campaigning for public health criteria to be a condition of licensing for all types of businesses, along with different business rates to encourage healthier outlets and discourage those detrimental to health.
“Our research does find higher concentrations of unhealthy businesses exist in places which already experience high levels of deprivation and premature mortality,” say Shirley Cramer, the organisation’s chief executive.
Britain’s Unhealthiest High Streets:
Britain’s Healthiest High Streets: