It’s official – number of people shopping in Bury St Edmunds increases again
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 January 2016
The attraction of Bury St Edmunds to shoppers has been proved by footfall figures showing the final week of the year was up 11% on the year before.
Ourburystedmunds boss Mark Cordell hailed the statistics, which he said show the town was bucking the national trend of declining high streets.
“This is a very pleasing set of figures for December, where Bury St Edmunds has done much better than the eastern region generally and the UK which are both sharply down on the year before,” he said.
“For the whole of 2015 the numbers visiting our town are also up and indeed have risen significantly on a year-on-year basis every year since 2012.”
The figures, commissioned by the Business Improvement District (BID), showed a weekly average of more than 83,000 people visiting the town in December – a rise of more than 5% on the previous year, which itself was a 5% rise on 2013.
Mr Cordell added: “The last week of 2015 was very busy, with 11% more people in the town centre than at the same time the previous year. That was a fantastic conclusion to the year and gives us a great start to 2016.”
Nationally, footfall figures for the UK in total were down 2% last year, according to Ourburystedmunds.
Mr Cordell put the success of Bury’s town centre down to a number of factors, including the recent ice rink that saw thousands of people skating at the Arc shopping centre, plus the visit of the Coca Cola truck on December 10.
He also praised the move to free parking at town car parks after 3pm on a Tuesday and Thursday, in conjunction with the borough and county councils.
A statement released by Ourburystedmunds added: “The figures are the latest evidence that prove Bury St Edmunds is continuing to thrive in what is still a difficult climate for many other towns.
“Recently a number of new businesses have opened in the town centre and the number of vacant units is comparatively low.”
The town’s popular ice rink was open for most of December and was due to close on January 3. However, due to its ongoing success it was extended for an extra three days until January 6.
The BID’s footfall statistics are based on an entry point to the town on Abbeygate Street.
They were compiled for Ourburystedmunds by a company called Springboard.