Britains Healthiest High St’s and Unhealthiest! Where Does Your Town Rank?


SPH has published a league table ranking 70 of Britain’s major towns and cities by the impact of their high streets on the public’s health and wellbeing.

The rankings, based on the prevalence of different types of businesses found in the towns’ main retail areas, see Grimsby rated as having the unhealthiest high street, with Edinburgh coming out as the healthiest. This ranking excludes London high streets, which have been ranked separately. See full top and bottom 10 below.

The league table features in the new RSPH  (Royal Society For Public Health) report,.

The report updates the methodology used in 2015, to reflect the changing face of the British high street, adding off-licences and empty shops to the negative influences on health, and cafes and vape shops to the positive influences.

The top 10 “unhealthiest” British high streets were ranked as:
1 Grimsby
2 Walsall
3 Blackpool
4 Stoke-On-Trent
5 Sunderland
6 Northampton
7 Bolton
8 Wolverhampton
9 Huddersfield
10 Bradford

The top 10 “healthiest” British high streets were ranked as:
1 Edinburgh
2 Canterbury
3 Taunton
4 Shrewsbury
5 Cheltenham
6 York
7 Brighton & Hove
8 Eastbourne
9 Exeter
10 Cambridge

Average life expectancy for people living in areas with the top 10 healthiest high streets is two and a half years longer than for those in the 10 unhealthiest ranked areas.

Changes to British high streets that have influenced the rankings include:

A growth in the number of fast food shops by 4,000 between 2014 and 2017, especially in the most deprived areas, which now have five times more fast food shops than the most affluent areas;

The number of vape shops has doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 in the past three years;
The high street vacancy rate has increased from below 7% in 2007 to 11% in 2017.
RSPH is now calling for a range of measures to make British high streets more health-promoting, including:


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