Bid to boost evening economy in Chester hailed a success

Bid to boost evening economy in Chester hailed a success

CH1ChesterBID has hailed the support of the city for its ‘Head Out Not Home’ campaign, after new figures revealed that city centre footfall on Thursday evenings was up by 22 per cent this summer.

Launched in July, the Head Out Not Home campaign was designed to help bridge the gap between the city’s daytime and evening economies. More than 40 retailers including Primark, Next, Debenhams and many inside the Grosvenor Shopping Centre agreed to keep their doors open late every Thursday and a range of special events and activities were organised to attract more high street visitors.

According to independent data, more than 141,000 people visited Chester city centre between 4pm and 9pm on Thursdays across a nine-week period between July and the end of August – an increase of more than 25,000 people against comparative Thursday night footfall figures in 2015.

Newly released August footfall figures have also shown a significant increase in the total number of city centre visitors during the month. A new report1 produced for CH1ChesterBID showed that city visitors were up by almost 20 per cent year-on-year to just under two million – well above the UK average, which was up by just 1.1 per cent. The figures follow a similarly busy July for Chester, where footfall was up by 13 per cent.

Carl Critchlow, BID Manager at CH1ChesterBID, said: “It’s been a fantastic summer in Chester city centre and the latest footfall figures for Thursday evenings and for August are extremely positive.

“Our Head Out Not Home campaign has had some amazing support – from our city partners, from residents and from visitors – and we’re delighted to see it has helped contribute towards bridging that important gap between the daytime and evening economies. August’s footfall figures are also welcome news and come off the back of a very strong July for us in terms of visitor numbers.”

A range of music and street entertainment was organised by CH1ChesterBID during the summer, as well as two dinosaur-themed trails, which proved hugely popular among couples, friend groups and families.

Carl added: “Seeing the city centre booming this summer has been fantastic and we’re looking forward to carrying that momentum forward in the months ahead. We’re already focused on the build-up to Christmas and we’ve got some wonderful events and activities in the pipeline and of course, late night shopping will be back throughout the city centre on Thursdays from late November.”