HIGH Streets up and down the country are in turmoil as chains collapse, businesses close and with the end of lockdown still not in sight we asked readers what they think will save our town centre?

With over fifty responses, the opinions were mixed, some wanted to see big names such as Primark, whilst others suggested we ‘go back to our roots.’

Cath Cooper said: “I think it’s very sad that Evesham has lost its identity it’s a lovely old historic town. People used to come on day trips just to visit, we need to bring this lovely river town back to life.”

Lisa Day said: “As Evesham was a very good tourist area, maybe make it more bohemian and a great place for a day out,with trendy, arty artisan shops. Locally made fresh food, trendy young shops, kids shops, cake shops, delis, and a GOOD Saturday Market like Stroud. Lets get rid of the many cheap supermarkets and charity shops!”

Ros Gowers said: “Towns all over the UK, not just Evesham, are going to have to completely rethink their high streets. The online shopping genie is well and truly out of the bottle. Evesham needs to make more of its historic heritage and its geographical location and become a place for people to enjoy for leisure purposes. More green areas in the centre.”

Councillor Helen Russell for Evesham North and West also got involved in the discussion.

She said: “Really interesting comments especially about the need to really sell Evesham as a tourism and leisure destination. We have a lot to attract visitors especially our historical importance and the river. Would be great to have more activities on and around the river-a river for all generations.”

Cllr Martin King, Executive Board Member for Transformation, Efficiency and Town Centre Revitalisation at Wychavon District Council, said: “There is no doubt the Covid-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on retail operators, just like nearly every other town centre. Since April 2020, Wychavon has provided more than £44 million in financial support to businesses across the district forced to close during the lockdown periods. With our Business Recovery Plan, which will provide support to retailers as they seek to recover from the closure period, we will be looking to support both existing and new independent or chain operators to reshape Evesham Town Centre and provide a mix of facilities for the local area.”