Around 70% of consumers would prefer to see investment in their local neighbourhood, compared to just 30% who would prefer investment in their nearest town or city centre.
The polling, commissioned as part of ACS’ 2022 Community Barometer report, also revealed that support for existing local businesses would be the top investment priority for consumers, followed by better community policing, and support for new businesses locally.
Government policy around levelling up and supporting businesses has long been focused on high streets and town and city centres, rather than parades, villages and rural hubs.
ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: “Our Community Barometer polling clearly shows that people want safe local neighbourhoods with vibrant established businesses and innovative new services. This should shape the government’s priorities as it takes forward its levelling up agenda. The services in our communities, including local shops, need more support and incentives to invest.”
The poll reveals consumers believe that convenience stores have the most positive impact locally, followed by pharmacies and post offices. In addition, they think pharmacies, convenience stores and post offices are the most essential service in their local area.