Wednesday, May 23, 2012

News: Footfall increases in Rotherham despite April showers


Footfall in Rotherham town centre increased by 8.8% in April compared to the same month in the previous year, whilst the national High Street average was a decrease of 6.4%.

Springboard, the retail insights specialist that tracks footfall in over 350 UK town and city locations, released figures that showed that Rotherham was one of just a handful of towns where footfall increased.

Springboard calculates the footfall figures using cameras to measure the number of people on specific streets. In Rotherham, footfall in April 2012 was 8.8% up on April 2011. Swindon had a 5.5% increase and Newcastle was 1.0% up with Cardiff showing a slight increase of 0.2%.

The national average showed a 2% decrease and footfall weakened in all types of locations, particularly High Streets with a 6.4% fall.

Diane Wehrle, research director at Springboard, said: "There's no denying that this has been a tough few months but retailers had braced themselves for the blow in light of the weather forecast.

"Rotherham is showing that it is possible to buck the trend and grow the footfall onto the high street, in spite of economic turmoil and turbulent weather. There's no doubt it's been a tough quarter so hopefully things will be even better for Rotherham over the next few months."

High profile events for the Queen's jubilee and the Olympic torch relay are taking place in Rotherham town centre in June.

This is the third time that Rotherham has been highlighted by Springboard for bucking the national trend. Last year, Springboard's National High Street Index showed that whilst the average High Street experienced a -1.2% decline in footfall in September, and regional cities in the UK saw a year-on-year drop of -7.6%, the footfall for Rotherham in September was up by 32.2% compared to the previous year.

Springboard's figures for February 2012 showed that footfall in Rotherham was up by 28.6% compared to the same month last year. The overall national picture showed footfall was 5.7% down.

Tim O'Connell, head of business & retail investment at Rotherham Investment & Development Office, said: "Despite the April washout we are heartened to see yet another uplift in footfall to the town centre.

"This on-going trend for increasing year-on-year footfall is the result of various new schemes to put Rotherham on the map as a destination and the results are paying off. We've offered business vitality grants to attract independent retailers through financial contributions and spearheaded a vacancy filling scheme – the increase in the number of visitors mirrors the positive shopper survey results we've just had which show that town centre users are seeing an improvement in the retail offer."

Steve Booth, CEO of Springboard, added: "These towns and cities are setting an example to retail centres across UK. Tactics to turn around their performance including enhancing the retail offering and promoting community safety have clearly paid off with a trend for growing footfall over the past few months.

"With the DCLG initiatives giving town teams the impetus to think about how they can improve town centre performance, now is the time to look at the success stories and ask how we can replicate their achievements elsewhere."

Rotherham is hoping to find out in the next week or so if they have secured funding through the government's Portas Pilots scheme. A further six are expected to be chosen in June.

Rotherham town centre website

Images: RMBC


Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP