Business Improvement Districts (BID) across the UK have made a major positive impact on the areas. They have created better retail and leisure environments by focussing on the old marketing maxim: find out what people want – and give it to them!

Fieldwork Assistance worked with the BID in London to help them answer some key questions about Angel.

So BID wanted to know:

  • Who ‘uses’ Angel, e.g. residents, visitors, workers?
  • Why do they ‘use’ Angel?
  • What days and times do they visit Angel?
  • How do they get there?
  • How often do they come to Angel?
  • What do they do in Angel? Are they customers or visitors?
  • Do they visit regularly, including special events or at particular seasons?
  • What do they like about Angel?
  • Are there any improvements in Angel they would like to see?


We worked with BID and their consultants to develop a questionnaire focussed on regular visitors and users.  We designed it for quick and easy completion by face-to-face on the spot interviews.


Not taking up much of respondents’ time is really important in our view. Every minute spent answering questions is a disruption to people’s routine or enjoyment and what they came to do – to shop or browse or visit friends


We structured the interviewing programme to obtain a representative sample of the population and their habits. In particular BID wanted to capture the views of evening visitors and users and our interviewing schedule took this into account. We planned a schedule across weekdays, weekends, daytime and ‘evening’. This is so we could capture the views of both Angel residents and people who commute to Angel to work. We positioned our interviewers where there would be sufficient footfall so that they could achieve both their age and gender quota and the required number of interviews.


We found, as we expected, that there would enough respondents for our interviewers to reach their targets despite the variation in their shift times and days, because people were around in Angel in sufficient numbers at all the chosen times.  As a result we were able to obtain robust, fully analysable data (with a confidence interval of ± 7%) from each interviewing shift.  And we were able to confirm that evening visitors and users had different views to those in the daytime.


The data collected included one key piece of demographic data the full postcode of all respondents, so that we could produce heat maps showing graphically in detail where the Angel respondents lived. And with the postcodes we could obtain a detailed analysis of their lifestyle.


The fieldwork project was carried out on schedule and on target and yielded some immediately encouraging feedback to BID. Respondents like the area and over 50% of them spend at least 2 hours there. The shops and the markets are very popular, as are the cafes, bars and restaurants.  Overall respondents especially like the atmosphere.


Among the most important findings were respondents’ unprompted verbatim comments when asked what would improve their experience in Angel.  Most could not think of anything and were very happy.  But some provided a long and detailed list which has given BID some very clear ideas and messages which they will be able to feed into their planning for the future.


The overall findings included some very positive views of Angel as it is.  More important our survey revealed some very clear ideas as to how BID can continue to improve and attract new businesses, retain and increase the number of visitors.  We are confident that the findings of this survey will be of value to BID in building and developing their future plans for the area.