Number of Sheffield city centre visitors down - council blames snow

Shoppers on Fargate, Sheffield
Shoppers on Fargate, Sheffield
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A drop in the number of people visiting Sheffield city centre in 2014 has been blamed on post-Christmas snow keeping shoppers away.

The number of shoppers visiting the city centre was down in 2014 by 0.9 per cent against 2013, slightly better than the national average 1.1 per cent decline.

Sheffield Council blamed the slight drop on several centimetres of Boxing Day snow scaring off shoppers.

A spokesman for the authority said: “Overall as an average across the city centre for the year of 2014, footfall was down 0.9 per cent while in 2013 it was down 5.7 per cent - so we have stopped the decline.

“One of the key reasons for this (drop) is the snowfall, which had a dramatic impact on post-Christmas footfall compared to the norm.”

Sheffield councillor Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, said: “As these figures prove, Sheffield city centre is doing better than the national average in terms of footfall, but there is still a lot to do over the next year. “There are some strong indications of recovery including new stores opening up in areas such as Fargate, the new-look Moor and Chapel Walk which is regaining its reputation for independent retail.

“We have the new Business improvement District ballot in February and a programme to fill our empty retail units launching later this month in addition to a new complex incorporating a cinema, restaurants and a flagship fashion store on the Moor.

“In addition, our successful programme of major events and festivals, such as Out of This World and the Christmas lights switch-on, has also drawn shoppers, families and revellers alike into Sheffield city centre.”