Middlebrook leisure and Retail Park coursework.

For my first aim I had to collect results to prove that the Middlebrook is located on the outskirts of a main town or city. I found out that the main town the Middlebrook is located to is Bolton. From my map I obtained off the Internet I measured the distance between the Middlebrook and Bolton by using the scale. I found that it was approximately four miles east of Bolton center, proving that it is located on the outskirts of a main town or city. Using my results I have proved that the Middlebrook fits the description of a typical ‘out of town’ shopping center.

For my second aim I had to prove that the Middlebrook is split into two main areas of leisure and retail. For this I produced a colour coded land use map to see if there was an obvious split. The map shows that to the left of the Middlebrook there is a domination of Household goods shops and a couple of clothes shops showing that this area is the retail area. When I visited the Middlebrook I saw that the household goods shops were mostly furniture shops such as CSL and D.F.S. There were also DIY shops and bed shops. To the right of the map the leisure isn’t so dominant. It obviously shows that it is the retail area but there are some clothes shops and sport shops too. The leisure consists of a bowling alley, cinema, arcade and resteraunts and bars etc.

The sports shops which are also located here are JJB, JD and Sports Soccer. There are also Fast Food outlets such as MacDonalds, Burger King and KFC. These are dotted around the car parks and I have put them under leisure. To work out the percentage ratio of Leisure and Reatil I found the amount of stores each had and divided them by the total and multiplied them by one hundred. The percentage of retail stores is 78% and leisure 22%. SO this shows that there is a ratio of 1:3.5, one leisure store to every three and a half retail stores. Most importantly I proved that the Middlebrook is split into two areas of leisure and retail. While at the Middlebrook I took pictures of the parking areas (see photographs) to see if it had aspects of safety. As from my photos I could see that safety was respected very well. Pedestrian paths were sign posted, as well as colour coded, very well. Steel bollards were in place around the parking area and there were also pedestrian crossings. The overall parking area was very large.

For my third and final aim, ‘does the Middlebrook have a large sphere of influence’, I obtained answers for my questionnaire, obtained a map of the internet to show my results and also create graphs to also show my results. The Middlebrook is located right next to the M61 motorway at junction 6. This massively increases the sphere of influence because it allows people from far away to get to the middlebrook more quicker with ease. The middlebrook also has a Railway Station platform which further increases the sphere of influence.

One link is between Chorley, which is about 7 miles from the Middlebrook. There is also a bus stop onsite at the park which is a popular form of public transport. Another aspect which could increase the sphere of influence is the Bolton Wanderers football stadium. This could just be an attraction where people come and view the stadium, but more importantly it pulls in thousands of people from different cities on match days who might be tempted to shop at the Middlebrook before or after a match. To complete my other maps I obtained of the internet I used my questionnaire I took to the Middlebrook with me.

My first question was

* What town do you live in?

From my results of this question I was able to produce a graph and a map. For my graph I created a cylinder bar chart to show the number of people from a town. The towns which were on the bottom axis were in the order of distance from the Middlebrook. So the closest was first and farthest away last. This gave me some idea of where most people came from who visited the Middlebrook. From the same map I got off the internet I was able to show the towns where most people come from who visit the Middlebrook. To do this I used a circles, where every 1/2 centimetre radius was one person, to show the amount of people. I coloured each circle different so it wasn’t to complicated. On the same map I was also able to show from the results of my first question the sphere of influence on the middlebrook.

To do this I marked off each town that was given to me using pencil. The towns which were close to the Middlebrook I connected up to show the Core sphere of influence and the towns which were further away I connected up to show the outer sphere of influence. I filled each of these areas with different colours and added a key to the side. All the results I obtained off this question proved that the Middlebrook did have a large sphere of influence. Close towns were those such as Bolton, Wigan, Hindley and Chorley. These were all about the same distance away, which is 4 miles.

My second question was

* What transport did you use to here?

a) Car

b) Bus

c) Train

d) Other

For this question I produced a pie chart of the different modes of transport used. The pie chart shows that nearly everyone uses a car to get to the middlebrook. 27 people traveled by car, 1 by bus, 1 by train and 1 by an ‘other’ form of transport. This result shows me that the sphere of influence is large for the Middlebrook because most people use cars. People are more likely to use cars if they live far away because bus routes often don’t exist over long distances and walking is just two far. Also the car is more quicker and more convenient.

My third question was

* How often do you visit the Middlebrook?

a) Daily

b) Every few days

c) Weekly

d) Less often

e) First time

I also produced a bar chart for this question. I labeled the axis from daily-less often. My graph shows a negative correlation which means that people visit less often rather than regularly. I think these results are correct for an ‘out of town’ shopping center because it is a place that isn’t visited regularly by shoppers like a place such as a small towns prestinct. This is because there are no housing sites around the Middlebrook as there is in a town which most people visit daily. People that might visit the Middlebrook regularly would be employees of shops.

My fourth question was

* What is the purpose of your visit here?

a) Business

b) Retail

c) Leisure

For this question I produced another pie chart. I thought I could also relate this question to my second aim, ‘Is the park split into two sections of retail and leisure’, because the ratio of leisure to retail was 1:3.5. So I investigated the ratio of the purpose of visiting the Middlebrook between the leisure and retail. From the results I obtained four people visited in purpose of leisure and 16 visited in purpose of retail. I found the ratio of this was 1:4, which is very similar to my first ratio in my second aim. This means that for every four retail visitor, there was just one leisure visitor. The amount of people who visited in purpose of business was 10.

My last question was

* Do you use any other retail and leisure parks?

For this question I produced another chart of different parks visited. Most people replied “no” and the most popular park was the Trafford center which is a shopping center in Manchester. This was probably because the Trafford centre is a lot more popular and has more publicity. Also it has a much larger range of stores which are more popular than some of those at the Middlebrook.

From all my results I found that the Middlebrook leisure and retail park does have a large sphere of influence.

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