Over 40,000 visited Sheffield city centre on Monday as non-essential shops reopened

The reopening of non-essential shops, hairdressers and other businesses brought crowds flocking back to Sheffield city centre this week, new figures show.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 11:44 am

More than 40,000 people visited the city centre on Monday alone, statistics from Sheffield Council show – and that doesn’t even include footfall on The Moor, meaning the true number is likely to have been much higher.

Shops, hairdressers and gyms were permitted to reopen from Monday, as part of the second phase of lockdown easing, with pubs, restaurants and cafes also allowed to welcome back customers for outdoor dining and drinking.

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Visitors hoping to get the latest bargain at Debenhams before it closes for good.

Sheffield Council said the city centre was closer to its usual bustling self that day as many people embraced the chance to return to something more closely resembling normality, with the number of visitors twice that of the previous Monday.

Edward Highfield, the council’s director of city growth, said: “I’m really pleased to say that we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to reopening so far and that people have generally been visiting premises safely and in line with the guidance.

"We’ve seen most businesses working hard to establish a creative, attractive environment to welcome people back, especially in sectors such as outdoor hospitality, and I think that reflects what Sheffield’s business ethos is all about and the pride our local businesses have in what they offer.

"I hope everyone continues to support local businesses and enjoy them safely in the weeks ahead.”

The council said it had worked closely with businesses across the city to ensure the latest step in reopening went as smoothly and safely as possible, with floor stickers and signage provided to help control queues and remind people to socially distance.

It revealed that its licensing team has carried out over 11,000 ‘interactions’ with businesses to support them to be Covid-secure, ranging from visits and phone calls to investigations following complaints.

It said it is continuing to support businesses ahead of the third phase of lockdown easing on May 17, when indoor drinking and dining will be allowed, and has created a guide which is available to download here.

Businesses can still apply to introduce outdoor seating under the council’s free temporary Pavement Cafe Scheme which was introduced last year, with more than 60 firms around the city having already taken advantage.