New report from Think Tank Centre for Cities shows footfall recovering faster from the coronavirus lockdown in towns than in cities, with Birkenhead among the best performers. Tony McDonough reports
Birkenhead is seeing one of the fastest recoveries in footfalls among towns across the UK.
A new report from think-tank Centre for Cities has found that commuter towns are seeing footfall, hit badly by the coronavirus lockdown, is recovering more quickly in towns that in cities. It reports Birkenhead is number two in the UK top 10, beaten only by Basildon.
Using anonymised mobile phone data from Locomiser, Centre for Cities measured the average footfall in town centres for the first week of July assigning each one a score. Basildon scored 104 to take the top spot and Birkenhead was just one point behind on 103. The top ten are:
- Basildon – (104)
- Birkenhead- (103)
- Chatham – (95)
- Burnley – (93)
- Doncaster – (83)
- Southend – (83)
- Telford – (83)
- Mansfield – (82)
- Wigan – (82)
- Aldershot- (81)
Birkenhead Business Improvement District (BID) has welcomed the results of the study, calling it a “fantastic achievement” for all businesses in the town. It said the BID team had seen first-hand the “resilience” being shown by retailers, business owners and customers.
Since the town centre re-opened last month, the BID’s commercial safety team has been implementing measures to ensure that social distancing guidelines are being met and supporting those businesses as they reopen post-lockdown.
They have been out on the high street, working with our businesses helping to produce signage and floor markings, while also working alongside Wirral Council and Wirral police to sanitise public spaces as part of the ongoing initiative Operation Sparkle.
Warren Ward, director of Birkenhead BID, said: “We absolutely welcome this news and believe it to be a result of the significant steps taken by our Birkenhead business community and key partners to ensure that the high street is safe for workers and shoppers to enjoy.
“COVID-19 has been one of hardest challenges to face our community in recent times. However, we remain confident that we can and will get through this.”