Student journalist Amelia Neath looks at the Top of Town - and what can be done to improve it. 

On July 13, Basingstoke Gazette counted 11 empty spaces at the Top of Town.

What was once an area shaped by the local community with shops, restaurants and cafes has been hit by the pandemic and the recent economic climate.

However, it is not necessarily the end for that part of town. 

A concept masterplan was drawn-up in 2014 for the top of the town in Basingstoke by Urban Initiatives Studio.

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The plan outlined how better parking, green spaces, celebration of Basingstoke’s heritage and improvement of shopping should be put in place to make the top of town a more attractive destination.

Pressure is also being applied to Basingstoke and Deane Council from businesses and resients to revitalise the area. 

In December 2020, Lambert Smith Hampton carried out a ‘Retail and Main Town Centre Uses Study’ with Basingstoke as its focal point.

They asked 487 people in a street survey what they thought of the top of town. 41 per cent of people liked ‘nothing or very little’ about the top of town with identified reasons such as feeling ‘unsafe, having poor security, it feeling dangerous’ with mention of ‘vandals’ or ‘hooligans.’ 7.2 per cent of people did like the top of town, however, because of the street market.


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