RESIDENTS of a seaside village are being asked how they could improve the shopping area.

A survey for people in Highcliffe has been drawn up by the Highcliffe Centre Partnership asking how residents feel the shops and commercial area could develop.

With the help of Christchurch Borough Council, the partnership’s survey will be distributed to households.

It aims to find out how often people visit shops in the village centre, which ones and how they travel. It also asks for any improvements that they could suggest and also which new types of shops they would like to see.

Earlier this year, Highcliffe’s last remaining bank closed, leaving business leaders fearful of the impact that it could have.

The Natwest branch in Lymington Road was one of a number of branches to be closed by Royal Bank of Scotland across the UK.

Cllr Lesley Dedman, ward councillor for Highcliffe, said she was planning to put her Dorset County Council community budget to work on the ‘worthwhile’ project.

“Initially to promote the ‘Highcliffe village’ brand we will provide more town centre signage, a village centre map and trail and replacement of the 20-year-old signs, which greet you upon entry,” she said.

“We are already working to strengthen shopping area links with Highcliffe Castle and ride on the ‘Mr Selfridge’ wave, with plans for a land train from castle to shops.

“Other ways to further this project will of course be informed by the survey results and we are really keen to get residents’ views.”

Malcolm Mawbey from the Highcliffe Centre Partnership said: “Our partnership was formed in March with the aim of working together to improve the Lymington Road shopping centre for residents and tourists alike.

“Its membership is gradually expanding and includes local borough and county councillors as well as a number of local organisations.

“We want as many people as possible to let us know their views on shopping locally in order to meet our aims.”

Further information about the Highcliffe Centre Partnership can be found at