Young people give West Norfolk a vote of confidence
More than sixty per cent of 16-25s believe they can fulfil their aspirations in West Norfolk, and a similar amount intend to stay in the area in the next five years.
Those are the findings of the Vision King’s Lynn Young People survey which took place in September and which saw 212 young people aged between 16 and 25 give their views.
The survey, which aimed to understand young people’s hopes and concerns, and their views of Lynn town centre, found that 62 per cent of respondents believe their career aspirations can be met in the area whilst 65 per cent intend to stay in the district.
And, when it comes to the town centre, the survey also revealed that the retail offer and eateries are important to young people in the town centre.
Respondents also talked about what improvements they would like to see and a greater variety of both shops and eateries was cited.
In particular, the young people who took part in the survey would like to see more high street shops (62 per cent).
Empty units were highlighted as something they dislike and a desire was expressed for modernisation in the town centre.
In addition, the respondents described anti-social behaviour in the town as a negative, and they believe that tackling this, more activities and leisure facilities for younger people, and more shops are the most important things that would make the town centre better.
The survey took place as part of the work to develop a Town Investment Plan for King’s Lynn which could bring £25 million in Town’s Fund investment to the town.
The survey findings will help to shape activities coming out of the plan, should it be successful.
Graham Purkins, chairman of the town board said: “We were delighted by the response to this survey and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views.
“It is really important that we shape a plan and activities that are inclusive and meaningful for everyone in the area so gaining this insight from young people is vital.
“It is really encouraging to learn that many of the respondents do see their future in West Norfolk.
"We also hear what young people are saying about the improvements they would like to see. Through the Town Investment Plan, we want to ensure that King’s Lynn achieves its full potential and is a place where people want to be and stay.”
The survey also found:
* The most popular next step for respondents was full or part time employment with 37 per cent of respondents choosing this. This was followed by university education as the next step for 27 per cent of respondents.
* Of those respondents who don’t believe that they can fulfil their aspirations in West Norfolk, the lack of opportunities is the overarching theme that emerges as to why not.
* And, of those respondents who intend to move away in the next five years, The main ‘place’ where people intend to move to is university. This was also the main reason why young people are moving away - to access education, with the next reason being to access greater opportunity.
In addition, representatives involved in the Town Investment Plan also attended a West Norfolk Youth Advisory Board meeting to get feedback on views of the town centre and aspirations. The discussion aligned with many of the themes highlighted in the survey.
The Town Investment Plan is due to be submitted by the end of this month.