City Centre Footfall Bucks National Trend

9th January 2020

Happy New Year from Lancaster BID to everyone in the city centre.

As we enter 2020, Lancaster BID has been reviewing the past year and is delighted to report on a successful end to 2019 in Lancaster city centre.

Footfall counters have recorded impressive results in the city centre with numbers of visitors showing an increase since 2018. This is a remarkable achievement against a national trend of declining footfall in town and city centres across the UK.

The month of December showed an increase in footfall in Lancaster city centre of +3.9% compared to the previous year. This is a hugely positive result when compared to the national average figure of a decline of -3.6% for the same month.

A specific highlight for Lancaster was the Christmas week which saw an increase in footfall of +12.4% compared to a national decline of -2.3%. The weekend of 14th/ 15th December was the busiest December weekend in the city centre for three years with Saturday 14th showing an almost unprecedented increase in footfall of +25.4%. This coincided with the Christmas at The Castle weekend, Meet the Makers Craft Fair in St Nics and the opening of the Viewing Wheel at Lancaster On Ice.

Longer term figures demonstrate that things really are on the up for Lancaster. Footfall for the whole of Quarter 4 of 2019 showed an increase of +1.6% showcasing a longer term positive trend for the city centre, with national figures showing a continued decline during the same period.

Tom Fyson, Lancaster BID Development Manager, said "We are delighted with the footfall results for the end of 2019 in Lancaster City Centre. The figures demonstrate increasing consumer confidence in what the city centre has to offer and are pointing towards the start of a longer term positive trend."

"Although it is impossible to confirm precise reasons for the upward trend, we believe a number of factors have helped increase city centre footfall. Flagship events certainly provide a significant footfall boost, with highlights including the return of Lancaster Music Festival last October, Light Up Lancaster and Christmas Lights Switch On in November and Lancaster On Ice, with the exciting addition of the Viewing Wheel."

"The impressive redevelopment of Lancaster Castle and the large numbers of students living in new city centre accommodation are also likely to have helped support further increases in city centre footfall."

"Lancaster BID will continue to monitor city centre footfall throughout 2020 to measure the longer term trends. 2020 is already off to an impressive start with an increase of +5.8% recorded in the first week of the New Year."

With development well underway to bring the former BHS premises on Market Street back into business use, and an impressive events programme being finalised for the whole of 2020, things certainly seem to be on the up for Lancaster city centre.

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