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East Midlands Chamber News

Increase In Footfall Figures for Nottingham City Centre

Market Square, NottinghamLatest figures released by Springboard, show a 4% increase in footfall for Nottingham city centre for the whole month of December compared to the same period last year. This contrasts with the equivalent figures for the East Midlands which show a 1.2% decline and for all towns and cities which are also down but only by 0.5%.

It’s a similar picture for November with Nottingham faring better than elsewhere, experiencing an increase of 8.75% for November compared to 2011, the East Midlands a 1.8% increase and all towns and cities a 0.2% increase.

According to Neil Fincham, a director of the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) and manager of The Exchange, this is a clear indication that more visitors came to Nottingham to enjoy the full retail and leisure experiences that the city had to offer over the Christmas period. It contrasts with the growth of online shopping which threatened to reduce the number of people frequenting the High Street. This is also despite the appalling weather in the lead up to Christmas. The British Retail Consortium is predicting that this could translate into modest increases in sales.

“The Nottingham BID is working hard to attract visitors and shoppers to the city centre to enjoy what the city has to offer,” said Neil Fincham. “In the past year the Nottingham BID spearheaded a number of initiatives including the Food and Drink Festival, the 48 Hours of Fashion event, an initiative to promote Nottingham’s independent businesses and a Christmas campaign, all with the aim of attracting more people to the city centre in order to help businesses increase sales. These events are due to be repeated and expanded upon for 2013 with various other activities and campaigns also planned.”

Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation, said: “It’s really encouraging that, despite the recession, significantly more people came into the city centre over the Christmas period compared to last year.

“Christmas is a vital time for retailers. The Council has been working closely with the Nottingham BID to promote Nottingham as a great place to shop with improved pricing for car parking and public transport offers.

“Nottingham has a great range of independent shops and anchor stores but part of the reason people come in to the city centre is because that there’s so much else to do while you’re here – from theatre, arts and heritage to great restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars.”

George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "We've seen high street and city centre retailers come under intense pressure in recent years from a combination of falling customer footfall and a boom in online spending, so it's extremely encouraging to see that shoppers came to Nottingham in their droves in the run-up to Christmas.

“Nottingham remains one of the region's top shopping destinations, with a great retail and leisure proposition and these figures show that it continues to be a strong draw for shoppers and other visitors.”