Shopper flocking back to Newport
Posted on Tuesday 22nd December 2015
Official figures released by Newport City Council for the month of November have revealed a dramatic increase in the number of visitors to the city centre, the highest recorded in seven years.
The latest statistics reveal that Newport’s average weekly footfall for November was 202,000. This is an increase of 17% on the same time last year. The last occasion that November’s average weekly footfall was higher, was back in 2008.
This positive news comes on the back of another recent survey which named Newport as the best city in Wales to start up a business. Out of 69 cities across the whole of the UK, Newport was named as the 28th best place to start up a business.
These footfall figures confirm that ‘the Friars Walk effect’ is encouraging shoppers to return to the whole of the city centre and is expected to bring Newport into the top 100 shopping destinations in the country, having previously been around the 200 mark.
Cllr Bob Bright, Leader of the Council said, “We are delighted that footfall figures have confirmed the increased number of visitors to our city centre. Over 800,000 people came into the city centre in November. We now have a city centre we can be proud of and that caters for visitors’ needs, whether that is shopping, leisure or work.
“We are also seeing exciting new and returning businesses to our city centre who will be contributing millions of pounds to our local economy, which will bring benefits for all those who live in, work in and visit Newport for many years to come”.
On Thursday 12 November, Friars Walk was officially opened to the public, marking the end of a long journey to create a high-quality shopping destination for Newport and the surrounding areas. Containing 35 retail units and 11 restaurants, the 390,000 sq. ft (36,230 sq m) development looks set to offer a shopping experience that the people of Newport can be proud of. The city centre provides a vibrant mix of retail, leisure and independent traders.
With 350 parking spaces and a brand new bus station, shoppers will find it easier than ever to get into the heart of Newport’s city centre. The early signs have been extremely positive and it will be apparent to all observers that there has been a vast increase in the number of people visiting the city centre as a whole.