'Best Easter ever' for Weston's traders as tens of thousands pay visit to seaside
PUBLISHED: 09:04 26 April 2019
Weston businesses enjoyed their 'best Easter ever' at the weekend, as scorching hot sunshine attracted tens of thousands of people to the town.
A mini heatwave delivered the hottest Easter weekend on record in all corners of the UK and came at the perfect time for the town's traders, as the Mediterranean-like sunshine lured locals and tourists to the seafront.
Huge crowds visited the beach across the four-day weekend.
Steve Townsend, manager of Weston Business Improvement District, told the Mercury it was a weekend to remember for some traders.
He said: “The businesses I spoke to said it was the best Easter they could remember, and the traffic coming into Weston confirmed that.
“Overall, we couldn't have wished for a better weekend. We're a seaside town and the weather always plays a role.”
The town centre has suffered a string of closures of late, with flagship shop Marks & Spencer to close its High Street outpost for good on Saturday, but Mr Townsend is confident Weston's businesses can enjoy a fruitful summer.
He added: “We have some great events coming up like the air show and the dairy festival. Things like Pride are growing year on year and the Grand Pier provides great entertainment year in, year out.
“The dairy festival has historically attracted people to the Beach Lawns, and it should be a great success again.
“Obviously, we are keeping a close eye on the Marks & Spencer situation. Hopefully something can go in there quickly.
“I'm hoping, because it owns the freehold, it would not dispose of it unless it has someone lined up to take over.”
The Grand Pier enjoyed its busiest Easter weekend since reopening after the destructive fire in 2008.
A dinosaur exhibition helped increase visitor numbers.
Pier general manager, Tim Moyle, said: “Last Easter, people were wearing winter coats, scarves and hats after some extremely cold weather.
“This year was a complete contrast and it was, of course, wonderful to see so many people visit the pier and enjoy the many rides, attractions and our cooling new refreshments.”