Report: design boosts economy

Investing in design features can help prevent economic slumps.

Improving the landscaping outside shops and businesses is good for the local economy, according to a new report. Research by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and Groundwork suggests that investing in design features such as hard and soft landscaping and lighting can help prevent economic slumps. The report, The contribution of the local environment to the local economy, found that such investments can attract new businesses to an area. Chief executive Tony Hawkhead of Groundwork, a charity that helps create greener neighbourhoods, said: “This confirms what we’d all suspected — making our towns and cities cleaner, greener and safer is good for everyone.” He added: “Improving the environment is not only important to address the global issue of climate change but it also has immediate impacts closer to home.” Researchers studied Coundon & Leeholme in County Durham, Riverside Park Industrial Estate in Middlesbrough, Winsford Industrial Estate in Cheshire and Portland Basin Green Business Park in Tameside. All four have experienced an economic revival since recent outdoor improvements.

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