Leeds city centre sees its busiest shopping weekend since outbreak of coronavirus pandemic
Leeds city centre saw its highest footfall since the start of the pandemic last weekend as the city continues to bounce back from the impact of COVID-19.
Specialist cameras on Briggate, one of the city’s key retail hotspots, recorded a total footfall of 114,242 over the course of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (September 17 to 19), marking the street’s busiest weekend since March 2020.
On Saturday alone, the cameras captured a total footfall of 48,212, an increase of 42.4 per cent on the same day last year and a rise of 2.6 percent on the same day in pre-pandemic 2019. Friday and Sunday also saw a total footfall on Briggate of 34,541 and 31,489 respectively.
Kirkgate market also saw its busiest Friday and Saturday since the start of the pandemic, with a combined 45,476 visitors over the two days. Footfall at the market has been consistently increasing, helped by the market’s summer events program.
Leeds City Council says the impressive stats mark a welcome return to the familiar, bustling scenes of Leeds city centre and follow a package of measures put in place earlier this year by the council’s City Centre Management Team and Visit Leeds Team and partners including Leeds BID, all aimed at supporting businesses and encouraging shoppers and visitors to enjoy the city centre safely.
They included work to improve the cleanliness of the city centre, new on-street teams to welcome people back, and a series of summer events and pop-up activities to encourage families to visit.
Advice has been given to businesses to help make sure that older people are safely able to stay as active, independent and connected to their communities as possible.
The council has also paid more than £75M in grants to businesses across the city.
Coun Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “Seeing people back enjoying a buzzing Leeds city centre has been an incredibly uplifting sight and it’s a huge boost for all of us who for so long wondered when we’d see our city back to its bustling best.
“It’s also a massive endorsement of the partnership work that has taken place to ensure people could return to the city centre safely and confidently and a testament to the resilience and imagination of our remarkable business community.
“As a city, we can all be proud of the compassion and community spirit we’ve shown to get to this point and if we continue taking care of ourselves and one another, Leeds can come back stronger than ever.”