Attractions - 237 'Vital and Viable' Factors

As part of our series on vital and viable high streets, the High Streets Task Force is presenting 'evidence on a page' summaries of over 200 factors that influence the success of high streets. Here we address attractions: attractions, in the context of the high street, refer to anything that brings people into the centre that is not part of a fixed retail offer. Such attractions include entertainment and leisure activities, culture and art, and seasonal events.

Date added 10 November 2021
Last updated 10 November 2021

High street attractions can act as an important differential in the overall town centre offer, and encourage longer dwell times, as well as the possibility of linked trips. The bigger the critical mass of such attractions, the more diverse the centre offer is, which is an underlying component of a healthy High Street (Ravenscroft, 2000). Apart from those relating to lifestyle (such as museums, art galleries, clubs, bars, etc.), attractions can also be related to convenience (such as proximity to services and other non-retail facilities), and encourage visitation and patronage (Tallon and Bromley, 2004). 

Place managers should look at the main attractions a centre has to offer, and the strength of each of these should be assessed as part of the repositioning and reinventing processes. Looking at what is on offer in neighbouring towns, and in similar towns and cities elsewhere, will help identify whether the balance is right or what developments are required, so that a healthy and vibrant centre can be created. 

Attractions is one of 237 factors that have been identified as influencing the vitality and viability of the high street.

For more information and further reading, download the pdf 'evidence on a page'. The page contains information about this factors place within the 237 factors identified and: whether it is a component factor of one of 25 'vital and viable' priorities; how the factor scores in terms of influence, place management control, and priority.

To read more about vital and viable high streets, see