While footfall to high streets across the country dropped by an average 4 per cent in December compared to the year before, King’s Lynn saw an increase of 5.2 per cent on December 2014 and 6.9 per cent on the same period in 2013.
The town centre also saw an increase of 7.6 per cent in visitors in 2015 compared to 2014 with 11 out of 12 months seeing an increase on 2014. This is a stark contrast to the national scene with the British Retail Consortium reporting shopping visits fell for ninth months in a row from April to December.
Abbie Panks, manager of the Vancouver Quarter shopping centre, which monitors the footfall figures, said: “The increase in online spending in December may have had a heavy impact on retail destinations across the country but I’m delighted to see that King’s Lynn once again saw a surge in visitors to the town
“Whilst the economy is still relatively fragile, it’s heartening to see so many people heading into the town centre. Town centres have long ceased to be strictly retail spaces with people often choosing to spend their leisure time there. The strong programme of events in the town during 2015 undoubtedly helped attract more visitors and we look forward to continuing our work alongside the borough council on events in 2016.”
Borough Councillor David Pope, Cabinet Member for ICT, Leisure and Public Space, added: “We are keen to support activities in the town centre which encourage people to come here. We know that the light shows and the many events we have organised have really helped to bring people to King’s Lynn and the footfall figures are very pleasing when the rest of the country seems to be struggling. We are just putting the finishing touches to the events programme for 2016 which we hope will once again support town centre retailers and eateries as people come into town to enjoy what’s on offer.”