BBC praises thriving Beckenham high street

The strength of Beckenham high street was recently highlighted in a special report which was aired on BBC London News.

The BBC report focussed on the changing face of London’s high streets and the challenges faced by local shop owners. Unfortunately, it made uneasy viewing as the report pointed to empty boarded-up shops, the demise of once popular big brands and claimed that the Great British high street is, well, not so great anymore.

However, BBC reporter Tolu Adeoye argued not all high streets were suffering this fate and used Beckenham as a positive example, claiming that the town was ‘bucking the trend’.
Reporting from a café in the town centre she said: “Here in Beckenham there is a real mix on offer on the high street, from big brands to small independent shops, restaurants and cafes.”

The BBC reporter then went onto reveal that the town boasts one of the lowest shop vacancies in London at just 4.3%. She went further in comparing it to neighbouring Croydon at 25.8% and revealed that the national average is 10.2%.

The success of the high street could arguably be attributed to the fact that Beckenham based businesses are pulling together to implement the Business Improvement District (BID) initiative – to ensure the town continues to prosper and flourish.

Beckenham Together is set to invest £940,000 into Beckenham over the next five years and big improvements have already been seen.

Commenting on the town’s glowing mention in the BBC report, Zoe Brown Beckenham Together Manager, said: “Demise? What demise?? I think it is pretty clear that we have a thriving high street! Beckenham is on the up with all of its updated features.

“It’s fantastic to see that the BBC is using Beckenham to highlight that the Great British high-street still has huge potential. Since the report was aired we’ve had a great flurry on social media with some fantastic comments from the wonderful people of Beckenham.

“Beckenham Together is hugely committed to safeguarding the future of the town and we will continue to all pull together to ensure that Beckenham prospers.”