August breaks visitor records for Bury town centre
The number of people visiting Bury St Edmunds town centre in a month has broken the half-million barrier for the first time since the business improvement district began measuring footfall.
The footfall figures commissioned by the BID organisation Ourburystedmunds showed 506,686 people entered the town centre via Abbeygate Street during the month.
The previous highest figure since the footfall camera was installed in 2012 was last November, when 461,272 people were counted – which included the four days of the Christmas Fayre.
The August 2016 figures are, on average, about 100,000 up on the month for the previous three years.
Chief Executive of Ourburystedmunds Mark Cordell said: “This is a tremendous boost for Bury St Edmunds and there are lots of factors that have contributed to it.
“We already know that our Food and Drink Festival over the bank holiday weekend was one of the busiest events we have organised, but there have been a lot of other things to encourage people into the town over the summer such as regular children’s activities at both the arc and the cathedral and, of course, the popular Lark and Linnet trail.
“Our previous highest ever monthly total included the four days of the town’s annual Christmas Fayre, which is an incredibly busy time, so to have brought in a further 40,000 people in the month is very pleasing.
“I’m sure the good weather played a part too but it shows that Bury is very much a destination that people want to visit.”
The figures also show footfall for the year to date is up by more than two per cent on 2015, while nationally, figures are down by more than one and a half per cent and in East Anglia figures are around a percentage point down for the same period.
Mark added: “Bury St Edmunds continues to buck the trend for visitor numbers and shows what a great offering we have here for shopping, eating out and leisure.”
The Ourburystedmunds footfall figures are calculated based on an entry point to the town on Abbeygate Street. They are compiled for the BID by Springboard.