It might not look like it, but we are told that Sheffield has seen a significant increase in footfall in recent months. According to data collected by Centre for Cities, Sheffield city centre saw a huge increase in footfall in September, with the level reaching 89% of the pre-pandemic average – way above the UK urban average of 73%. Footfall figures included not only residents but people venturing into the city from other parts of the country.
The Centre for Cities figures were so impressive that Sheffield came out on top with the best high street recovery score of the 63 largest towns and cities in the UK in September.
Whilst Sheffield is still not seeing the footfall of pre-pandemic levels, compared to other big towns and cities we are on the up and doing well considering the circumstances people faced during the pandemic.
And it appears large numbers of people chose Sheffield as a destination to visit while the events were taking place. Occupancy in hotels in and around the city rose to 79.5% – making Sheffield the highest scoring northern city except for York during September.
At the end of October, the African-Caribbean market, the first of its kind put on in the city as part of Black History Month in Sheffield, attracted thousands of people to the city centre.
That week alone, around 180,000 people visited Fargate, with a 30.9% footfall increase, equating to around an extra 30,000 people. There was also a 19.3% increase in footfall at Moor Market, equating to around 10,000 extra people.
Centre for Cities is a leading think tank, set up in 2005 by Lord Salisbury of Turville, dedicated to improving the economies of the UK’s largest towns and cities.
I’m sure we’d all like to know how the data is collated.