Sheffield city centre footfall soars to make it most improved in high street recovery tracker

Sheffield city centre saw a massive increase in footfall last month, making it the most improved city in a high street recovery tracker.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 11:43 am
Fargate in Sheffield city centre. Picture: Chris Etchells.

Centre for Cities updated its high street recovery tracker for Spetember 2021, using data from the 63 largest cities and towns in the UK to show how city centres were recovering.

Sheffield was found to have the largest increase in footfall in September, with a 33 percent increase, bringing the level up to 89 percent of the pre-pandemic average.

Nottingham was second on the list for increases, with a 32 percent jump and meeting 88 percent of pre-pandemic footfall.

Footfall fell sharply in town and city centres during the pandemic owning to national lockdowns and social distancing restrictions. Since restrictions ended in July most centres have seen month on month rises in footfall as shoppers return.

Footfall for towns and cities grew by an average 8 percent overall and 7 percent on weekdays as workers continue to return to the office in larger numbers. However, there were ten town and city centres which saw a drop in footfall.

The seaside town Blackpool saw the greatest decrease of 37 percent, although it is the area with the highest footfall compared to pre-pandemic levels, at 123 percent.

If footfall in Sheffield city centre continues to increase at a similar rate, it could match or even exceed the pre-pandemic average in a matter of months.

With Christmas shopping season just around the corner, Sheffield’s businesses are likely to see the economic benefit of this increased footfall.