New figures based on research in towns across England and Wales today revealed that footfall counts – the numbers of people visiting high streets and town centres – have bounced back after collapsing last year. Vacant property rates have also reduced, providing a glimmer of hope for hard pressed high streets.
Figures released on 17th April 2013 show an improvement in high street footfall
Social enterprise, amt-i (part of national charity AMT) today released overall figures revealing high street and town centre performance for 2012, and how this compared to previous years.
The statistics, compiled based on research in 83 participating towns, showed that:
- Footfall has increased by 18% at ‘busy’ times of day since 2011 – but is still 22% lower than in 2009
- The average number of vacant units in towns surveyed is 8% (down from 9% last year)
- Prime retail rents in towns surveyed has dropped further, to an average of £27 per square foot (down from £31 last year and £42 in 2009)
amt-i collects pertinent data regarding the town centres across England and Wales which participate in the Town Benchmarking programme.
Twelve Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measured including: variety and range of shops; balance and mix of retailers; footfall; business confidence; visitors’ opinions; car parking and shoppers’ origin.
Once collected, Town Benchmarking provides a unique analysis and picture of individual town centres, and the annual report generated for each town compares the data on each of the twelve KPIs against a national figure for all other Benchmarked towns.
This in-depth data offers towns a tangible insight into how their town centre is performing, what is working well and what can be improved.
More of the new 2012 figures can be viewed here: http://towns.org.uk/2013/04/16/bounce-for-high-street-footfalls-as-rents-continue-to-drop/
Chris Wade, Chief Executive of Action for Market Towns (AMT), said:
“The increase in footfall shown in 2012′s town benchmarking figures will be welcomed by high street commentators – but we cannot be complacent, the last three years have been very challenging for high streets and town centres. However, the towns that actively measure, monitor and understand their town centre have previously outperformed those towns that don’t – and the towns we have benchmarked are clearly working hard to address challenges and improve footfall.”
To find out more you can contact Chris Wade via firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him on @Man_about_towns