Christmas shopping boost for Northampton town centre
Northampton town centre was much busier in December 2015 than the same month the previous year, official figures have revealed.
Footfall was up more than 22 per cent, from 1,249,511 visitors in December 2014 to 1,526,974, with a full calendar year increase of 2.6 per cent, from 14,476.969 to 14,859,519.
And free parking has continued to have a positive effect, with a December increase from 229,813 to 247,986 - up 7.9 per cent. This has helped provide a 10.7 per cent increase between April and December - 1,788,434 up to 1,980,823 - not taking into account the free parking provided throughout the year and on Christmas Saturdays on surface car parks, for which parking figures are not recorded.
Cllr Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: "These figures prove what we already believed anecdotally - that Northampton town centre is getting busier.
We’ve worked really hard in recent years to improve the environment, help businesses, and encourage shoppers, and this is clearly paying off. But we can’t stand still. We are now making a start on further improvements in St Giles Street, which recently won Great British High Street 2015."
The council has invested in its Business Incentive Scheme since 2014, helping 29 businesses through £160,000 investment, and creating 110 jobs between April and December last year alone.
In June 2014, the council increased free parking from one to two hours on weekdays, and stopped charging on Saturdays.