Footfall booms in Weston-super-Mare town centre with nearly 750,000 visitors in April


The number of people visiting Weston-super-Mare town centre is up by more than 10 per cent compared to this time last year, with a bumper April seeing footfall reach nearly 750,000.

Footfall in Weston is up by 12.6 per cent on this time last year, with thousands more people flocking to ‘brilliant’ events in the town.

Town centre businesses also benefitted from a late Easter weekend and an unseasonably dry month, with no rainy days recorded in the 28-day period from April 3-30.

Central Weston saw 736,666 visitors over the period, compared to 491,435 last month and 522,898 in April last year.

April 8 was the busiest day of the month, when the popular Eat: Weston food festival is credited with drawing more than 58,000 people to the town centre.

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The data is compiled by statistics experts Springboard Retail Intelligence on behalf of Weston Business Improvement District (BID).

Weston town centre manager Steve Townsend believes events like Eat: Weston play a pivotal role in boosting footfall in town centres, and he hopes two versions of it can be held in the High Street next summer.

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He said: “The food festival was really good, and we would love to replicate that twice next year. It was brilliant this year.

“Obviously we need to speak to the organiser and the event needs to be licensed – but hopefully that can be achieved.

“Events like that give people an extra reason to visit the town centre. There was a really positive vibe and a lot of good feeling with a quality event like that taking place.”

But Mr Townsend admits vacant units on the High Street are stopping the town from reaching its full potential, and believes more national businesses are required to draw more visitors.

He added: “We definitely need some more retailers, though. The thorns in my side are the vacant BHS and TJ Hughes buildings and we seem to be hitting a brick wall.

“We’ve got some quality fashion retailers like Walker and Ling, Cecil Walker and Marks & Spencer, but Weston needs some more quality and high-end fashion retailers.”

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