A “Centre for Cities” report released at the end of June positioned Warrington as having the highest increase in footfall since lockdown was relaxed and non-essential retail started to reopen.
According to the report large towns and smaller cities are generally having faster recoveries due to the concentration of shops and jobs in a single city centre, whereas large cities have multiple neighbourhoods spread across the city-region. After Warrington, the English cities and large towns with the most footfall include Hull, Telford, Bournemouth and Sunderland.
Figures are taken from monitors which are positioned on the four main high streets: Bridge Street, Horsemarket Street, Buttermarket Street and Sankey Street. Reports from the first week in July, when many of the hospitality businesses reopened show that the upward trend continues to rise.
Golden Square and Cockhedge Shopping Centre have reported similar increases with retailers reporting that average basket spend is up.
Warrington BID Manager, Harriet Roberts said: “The slow, steady upturn in the number of visitors is a sign that people are feeling confident in the measures that have been put in place to make the town centre safer and that as a partnership, we have got the messaging right across all our channels.
“We are all working together to position the spotlight on those people behind the headlines who are still in the eye of the storm and adjusting to new ways of working to create a Covid-19 secure, safer environment for customers and staff.’
Cllr Tom Jennings, Chair of Supporting the Local Economy Policy Committee Bewsey & Whitecross Ward who is also on the board of Warrington BID said: “Having one of the highest increases in footfall with rising average spend reported, shows how vital collaboration is between businesses and partners to keep people safe whilst encouraging them to spend well. The Council will continue to play its part in helping establishments get back to business.”
The opening of the brand new multi-million pound Warrington Retail Market on Monday, will help boost footfall further.
*Centres for Cities is an independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to understanding and improving the economies of the UK’s largest cities and towns.