Town health check data published for Highland centres
The Highland Council has today announced significant progress in the quality of collection and reporting on the performance of it’s town centres through the release of new Town Centre Health Check “Story Maps”.
Town Centre Health Checks are a means of assessing the strength, vitality and performance of town centres over time. The results of health check exercises are used to formulate strategies for improvements and inform policy documents.
Data was gathered in summer 2018 with fifteen town centres being assessed. Each town centre was scored against ten indicators of health including ease of movement and night time economy. Unit vacancies were recorded along with classifications of premises to allow analysis of long term trends and identify availability of services across different locations.
To make information easier to access a “Story Map” was created to better explain the circumstances for each town centre – and to allow comparisons between locations. Presentation in this form includes graphs, text and mapping and photographs of individual shop units. Additional collected details of bus stops and routes, parking, areas of green space and the location of key facilities are also made available.
The use of the Story Map format allows information on a single location or aggregated information across the whole of Highland to be easily inspected using flexible navigation and viewing tools and can be accessed through the following links.
Inverness has its own individual Story Map accessible here:
The other Highland Towns audited are included in a second Story Map:
Chair of the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: “Checking the strength and vitality of our town centres is essential to enable better decision and policy making.
“These new health checks allow us all to base analysis on a snapshot in time. In future years, through identifying changes to this baseline, we will be able to better monitor the effectiveness of decisions made.
“Presenting detailed information and analysis of the data collected alongside a commentary on each location allows a range of users to access information relevant to them.
Highland Council is the first Local Authority in Scotland to present its Town Centre Health Check results using the Story Map format and it is intended that it will continue to do so in the years ahead.”