Council chief welcomes footfall boost in Wrexham

Reporter:

Steve Craddock

A COUNCIL chief has welcomed news of a footfall boost for Wrexham town centre.

At a meeting of Wrexham Town Centre Forum, Wrexham Council’s destination manager Joe Bickerton revealed figures which showed the town centre had a boost in visitor numbers in July.

The figures showed that across three weeks in July, between 73,000 and 77,000 a week came to the town centre, with the data captured on a footfall counting device installed in Hope Street in January.

Cllr Terry Evans, lead member for the economy, was pleased to see the latest data. He said: “The town centre team and the steering group have worked hard this year to ensure that the town and our markets are prioritised in terms of appearance and promoted well.

“Along with cornerstone events like the St David’s Day parade, the food festival and the Victorian Christmas Market. The town has been buoyed by the monthly street festivals and community events that regularly occur throughout town.”

The data collection follows an analysis of Wrexham’s High Street performance by the Manchester Metropolitan University back in 2014 after which a number of recommendations were put forward.

Last year a new town centre steering group was created to implement a 25-point plan for the town, one of the goals for which was to look at ways of increasing footfall, through initiatives such as enhancing the appearance of town along with developing new events.

Data from the pedestrian counter has been feeding through weekly counts to the town centre management team.

Wrexham is one of seven towns selected to take part in the Innovate Project, a two-year government backed project to track sales and footfall in Wrexham.

Along with the footfall counter, sales data is also collected from a dozen businesses across the town centre every week.

Speaking to members at the forum meeting on Tuesday, Mr Bickerton said: “We’re encouraged because it is showing an upward trend from the high 50s at the start of the year averaging at about mid-60,000 a week.

“You could point to the fact that the weather is better and schools have broken up.

“What we’re hoping to do is use the data as a benchmark to look at how we can measure and take more accurate readings going forward, but from a town centre management point of view it is quite encouraging.

“I think it shows the value of events in the town centre and when people come in there is more chance of them shopping and spending.”

Officers from the council now hope to install additional counters in other parts of town as they continue to collate more information to support future initiatives and the development of the town as a competitive destination.

Email:

steve.craddock@nwn.co.uk

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