Increased Northampton footfall bucks the national trend
Northampton has bucked the national trend with Christmas footfall figures up more than 2.5 per cent on the previous year.
Figures produced by the independent monitoring service, Spotlight, show the number of people visiting the town centre throughout December rose from 1,526,974 in 2015 to 1,566,315 last year.
This demonstrates that Northampton bucked the national trend which, according to the latest Retail Traffic Index report from Ipsos Retail Performance, shows a 1.4 per cent dip in shoppers during the same period.
This is the second year of increase in Northampton against a December 2014 total of 1,249,511 which represents a total increase of 25 per cent across the two years.
Cllr Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “Clearly our measures to revitalise the town centre are working.
“In the past few years we’ve pumped funding into street scene improvements, helped new start-ups and business developments, and introduced extended free parking.
“All of this is coming together to make our town a more vibrant, attractive place for shoppers to visit, with a genuinely unique niche offer not available elsewhere nearby.”
Footfall across the entire 2016 calendar year was up to an even greater extent, from 15,302,236 in 2015 to 15,881,235 – a 3.78 per cent increase, more than 30 times the national increase. Ipsos reported a 0.1 per cent national rise for the same period.
Use of multi-storey car parks also increased during December compared with the previous year – up from 229,933 tickets to 242,324 or 5.4 per cent – and all indications are that shoppers are staying longer.
The April to December figures mirror the increase at 3.7 per cent, up from 1,990,653 tickets to 2,064,621.
“These latest parking figures demonstrate that our strategy of increasing the amount of free parking we offer is working,” added Cllr Hadland.
“It’s heartening to see that people have demonstrated their willingness to visit Northampton town centre in ever-growing numbers, an opportunity businesses need to seize.”