Shoppers return to Shrewsbury town centre with footfall better than national average

Shoppers are returning to Shrewsbury town centre with footfall out-performing the national average during June and July.

Shoppers are returning to Shrewsbury town centre and making use of outdoor eating spaces
Shoppers are returning to Shrewsbury town centre and making use of outdoor eating spaces

Figures from footfall counters show that
increases in visitor numbers were consistently higher than comparable towns
across the country following the introduction of interventions to help aid
social distancing, such as closing High Street to traffic during the day. 

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID,
said footfall since the start of June had on average been 15% higher than UK High Streets, when compared to last year. 

He said: “As you would expect, town
centres are quieter than this time last year, but the steady weekly increases
have been very encouraging, particularly as Shrewsbury has been ahead of the
national average almost every week. 

“We have worked hard with Shropshire
Council and Shrewsbury Town Council, through the Shrewsbury Recovery Taskforce,
to make the town safe and welcoming, and it’s pleasing to see a growing number
of people enjoying their town centre again.” 

Jess Shiels, owner of Peaberry Cafe Bar
in Milk Street, said removing traffic from High Street to enable tables and
chairs outside had been “lifesaving”. 

“The footfall has been amazing and
customers say they love the Mediterranean feel of having tables out in the road
so they can sit and enjoy the atmosphere without any traffic going past,” he
said. 

“Being able to use the outside space has
been lifesaving for us, and everyone says they would love it to stay
traffic-free like this all of the time. 

“Everyone is working together to make the
best of the situation, with our neighbouring businesses like Wombourne Windows
and The Wheatsheaf happy to share the space – it’s been brilliant.” 

Samantha Pritchard, owner of It’s Feet
First in Wyle Cop, said there was a good atmosphere in the town centre. 

She added: “We have been busy since
reopening and people have been happy to support their local independent
businesses, which we are very grateful for. 

“Everyone has said they feel safe and the
changes to the road layout to provide more space is working really well. 

“There’s a really nice feel to the town
at the moment and we hope more people will come out to experience it for
themselves.” 

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