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Chippenham’s Economy: The True Story Behind the Figures

Monday 08 May 2017

As with any town, Chippenham has often fallen into the trap of false statements roaming free. This is why Chippenham BID seized the opportunity to work alongside research and regeneration specialists, People & Places, to discover the true story of Chippenham’s economy and beyond. This project arose from key discussions within the BID’s Backing Business sub-committee, in order to obtain the true facts behind Chippenham’s statistics so work can be done to alleviate the issues within the town and focus on making it a better place to work, live and shop.

The research set to look into 12 key performance indicators (KPIs) which included the following:

  • National retail information
  • Independent retail information
  • Professional services information
  • Cafes, bars and restaurants
  • Chippenham’s business vacancy rates
  • Markets
  • Footfall
  • Car parking
  • Business confidence surveys
  • Town centre user surveys
  • Shopper origin surveys

Within this research, 310 people were surveyed from February-March 2017; providing recent feedback and valuable data. It was found that 71% of town centre users visit at least once a week, which may explain Chippenham’s footfall being 55% higher than the national large towns average. It was recorded that 371 people walked by every ten minutes, and on a market day footfall was 24% higher in Chippenham’s High Street.

It was also found that shoppers tend to portray a lower than average spend in the town, with 52% of businesses classing competition from the internet as a negative aspect of trading in Chippenham. 76% of businesses and 60% of town centre users also rated car parking as a negative aspect of the town, with cheaper and free parking emerging as a qualitative comment on the subject of enhancing parking.

Off the back of this in-depth research, Chippenham BID has created an easy to digest infographic to detail the findings, and they are calling for BID businesses to get in touch if they would like to view the full report.

Simon Philpott, Chippenham BID Manager, said:

“There are many assumptions about our town, yet what this study has revealed are the true factors affecting Chippenham and its economy. This work will allow us to truly address the needs of our town for businesses, residents and visitors alike”. 

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