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Black County Core Strategy

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Black Country Centres Study

Shopping Survey underway to help plan the future of Black Country Town Centres

As part of our work on the Black Country Plan an important study is underway to help identify the key issues to inform plans for the future of the Black Country’s Town Centres.

Consultants Lambert Smith Hampton are undertaking a Black Country Centres Study. As part of this, a telephone household shopping survey is being carried out by leading experts NEMS Market Research on behalf of the Black Country Local Authorities to help understand shopping and leisure patterns in the area.

Central government guidance says that Local Authorities need to plan for future requirements in our centres, such as retail and leisure.  A similar survey was undertaken in 2009, where results were used to form part of the current Black Country Core Strategy. This now needs updating with the preparation of the Black Country Plan, to take account of the new challenges and opportunities facing the High Street resulting from changing shopping patterns, including the growth of online shopping. A crucial part of this is to understand residents’ views and aspirations about the future of the Black Country’s Town Centres, to help identify the key issues facing town centres and formulate solutions. The aim is to promote the diversification and regeneration of town centres and help secure their successful future.

During the next few weeks, NEMS Market Research will carry out the telephone household shopping survey of a sample of residents in the Black Country and surrounding areas, which is anticipated to be carried out between 24th June and late July. This is being supplemented by NEMS gathering information from online surveys, reflecting new ways of achieving responses from a representative sample of residents. The responses provided will be confidential and subject to data protection laws, with any information being depersonalised to safeguard the anonymity of participants. People will not be asked for their names or financial details. No personal details will be disclosed or passed on. Only summaries of the surveys will be used to work out overall shopping and leisure patterns, trends and needs. The Black Country Centres Study will be published as part of the evidence base to inform the Draft Plan Stage consultation of the Black Country Plan.

If residents have any concerns, please contact NEMS Market Research on 01642 37 33 55; email or visit and

If you have any further questions, please email the Black Country Plan on call Dudley: 01384 814136 | Sandwell: 0121 569 4249 | Walsall: 01922 658020 | Wolverhampton: 01902 554038