Grimsby has Britain’s unhealthiest high street, a league table of the worst town centres across the country has revealed today.

Streets with more fast food shops, bookmakers, tanning shops and off-licences score lower, while leisure centres, pharmacies and libraries improve the areas.

Towns and cities in the north of England and the Midlands fared worst, with Northampton the furthest south in the list of the 10 unhealthiest.

Meanwhile, those in the south, plus Edinburgh in the top spot, make up most of the UK’s top 10 healthiest high streets.

Experts say there should be more pressure to make sure high streets are healthier and ‘we shouldn’t underestimate how important the British high street is’.

Health on the High Street, a report published today by the Royal Society for Public Health, has ranked 70 high streets across the UK.

Behind Grimsby, shamed as the worst, come Walsall, Blackpool, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Northampton, Bolton, Wolverhampton, Huddersfield and Bradford.

At the top of the table, behind Edinburgh, are Canterbury, Taunton, Shrewsbury, Cheltenham, York, Brighton, Eastbourne, Exeter and Cambridge.

The high streets were rated by how many businesses they have which encourage healthy or unhealthy living, to give an overall score.

And people living in the 10 healthiest areas live an average of two-and-a-half years longer than those with the unhealthiest high streets, the report found.

The RSPH report also charts how high streets have changed in recent years – libraries and pubs are closing down, while fast food shops, vape shops and convenience stores are on the up.

On average a new vape shop has opened every day since 2015, whereas 18 pubs are now closing each week in the UK.

The number of payday lenders has dropped by a third since 2015 in the 70 studied towns and cities, and there are fewer betting shops nationwide than there were in 2012. 

Edinburgh, which has been named as having the UK's healthiest high street

Edinburgh, which has been named as having the UK's healthiest high street

Edinburgh, which has been named as having the UK’s healthiest high street

Other end of the scale: Grimsby, which was ranked the least healthy high street in the UK

Other end of the scale: Grimsby, which was ranked the least healthy high street in the UK

Other end of the scale: Grimsby, which was ranked the least healthy high street in the UK

Experts warn more deprived areas tend to have more shops encouraging unhealthy living, whereas the opposite is true of richer neighbourhoods.

The high streets were rated by how many businesses they have which encourage healthy or unhealthy living, to give an overall score.

The report said 4,000 new fast food outlets have opened across the UK in the past five years – predominantly in poorer areas.

Deprived areas now have five times more fast food shops than wealthy neighbourhoods. 

The 10 healthiest high streets in the UK

1. Edinburgh

2. Canterbury

3. Taunton

4. Shrewsbury

5. Cheltenham

6. York

7. Brighton & Hove

8. Eastbourne

9. Exeter

10. Cambridge 

The 10 unhealthiest high streets in the UK

1. Grimsby

2. Walsall

3. Blackpool

4. Stoke-on-Trent

5. Sunderland

6. Northampton

7. Bolton

8. Wolverhampton

9. Huddersfield

10. Bradford

The research also showed that vape shops have doubled to 2,000 in the last three years.

Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of the RSPH said: ‘Our rankings illustrate how unhealthy businesses concentrate in areas which already experience higher levels of deprivation, obesity and lower life expectancy.

‘Local authorities, who are well placed to make changes, are currently operating with one hand tied behind their backs due to ongoing funding cuts, particularly in some of the more deprived areas that feature prominently in these rankings.’ 

London’s unhealthiest high streets: Haringey tops the chart as the worst offender (but the best is just three miles away… in the same borough) 

London‘s unhealthiest high streets have today been named – with one in Haringey being shamed as the worst in the capital.

West Green Road was found to score worst in a league table of the streets with the most betting shops, takeaways, payday lenders, tanning shops and off-licences.

At the other end of the scale of 146 high streets in London, Muswell Hill – also in Haringey just a few miles away – was listed as being the healthiest.

Researchers found poorer areas tended to have more shops encouraging unhealthy living, whereas the opposite is true of richer neighbourhoods.

A report by the Royal Society of Public Health has ranked the most and least healthy high streets across London, with both the best and worst – Muswell Hill and West Green Road – both in the northern borough of Haringey

A report by the Royal Society of Public Health has ranked the most and least healthy high streets across London, with both the best and worst – Muswell Hill and West Green Road – both in the northern borough of Haringey

A report by the Royal Society of Public Health has ranked the most and least healthy high streets across London, with both the best and worst – Muswell Hill and West Green Road – both in the northern borough of Haringey

Roman Road (West) in Tower Hamlets and Thornton Heath in Croydon were also named in the worst three offenders.

South Norwood and New Addington, both in Croydon, placed fifth and sixth, while Angel Edmonton in Enfield ranked fourth.

The rest of the top ten unhealthiest high streets in London were scattered around Brent, Newham and Havering.

In contrast, Hornchurch in Havering was unearthed to be the second healthiest high street in the capital, followed by Pinner in Harrow.

St John’s Wood in Westminster ranked fourth, pipping Temple Fortune in Barnet and Hampstead in Camden.

Health on the High Street, a report published today by the Royal Society for Public Health, has ranked high streets across London. 

The high streets were rated by how many businesses they have which encourage healthy or unhealthy living, to give an overall score.

People living in areas with healthier high streets live longer than those surrounded by unhealthy shops.

The difference in life expectancy between Muswell Hill and West Green Road, for example, is approximately four-and-a-half years, the Evening Standard reported.  

Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of the RSPH said: ‘Our rankings illustrate how unhealthy businesses concentrate in areas which already experience higher levels of deprivation, obesity and lower life expectancy. 

‘Local authorities, who are well placed to make changes, are currently operating with one hand tied behind their backs due to ongoing funding cuts, particularly in some of the more deprived areas that feature prominently in these rankings.’

The RSPH’s rankings of towns and cities across the entire UK will be published tonight.

LONDON’S LEAST HEALTHY HIGH STREETS

  1. W. Green Rd/Seven Sisters, Haringey
  2. Roman Road West, Tower Hamlets
  3. Thornton Heath, Croydon
  4. Angel Edmonton, Enfield
  5. South Norwood, Croydon
  6. New Addington, Croydon
  7. Neasden, Brent
  8. Harlesden, Brent
  9. Canning Town, Newham
  10. Rainham, Havering

LONDON’S HEALTHIEST HIGH STREETS

  1. Muswell Hill, Haringey
  2. Hornchurch, Havering
  3. Pinner, Harrow
  4. St John’s Wood, City of Westminster
  5. Temple Fortune, Barnet
  6. Hampstead, Camden
  7. Kingsbury, Brent/Harrow
  8. Whetstone, Barnet
  9. Teddington, Richmond 
  10. Beckenham, Bromley 

 

SO, HOW DOES YOUR TOWN OR CITY RANK OVERALL?
Rank Town/city high street Rank Town/city high street
1 Grimsby 36 Worthing
2 Walsall 37 Manchester
3 Blackpool 38 Bedford
4 Stoke-On-Trent 39 Glasgow
5 Sunderland 40 Reading
6 Northampton 41 Norwich
7 Bolton 42 Leeds
8 Wolverhampton 43 Newcastle Upon Tyne
9 Huddersfield 44 Chester
10 Bradford 45 Bournemouth
11 Stockport 46 Hereford
12 Coventry 47 Birmingham
13 Dundee 48 Aberdeen
14 Doncaster 49 Perth
15 Preston 50 Chelmsford
16 Darlington 51 Wakefield
17 Swansea 52 Carlisle
18 Middlesbrough 53 Maidstone
19 Ayr 54 Tunbridge Wells
20 Luton 55 Harrogate
21 Leicester 56 Salisbury
22 Derby 57 Liverpool
23 Scarborough 58 Leamington Spa
24 Southampton 59 Bristol
25 Colchester 60 Bath
26 Southport 61 Cambridge
27 Lincoln 62 Exeter
28 Ipswich 63 Eastbourne
29 Sheffield 64 Brighton and Hove
30 Guildford 65 York
31 Cardiff 66 Cheltenham
32 Peterborough 67 Shrewsbury
33 Worcester 68 Taunton
34 Plymouth 69 Canterbury
35 Nottingham 70 Edinburgh



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