Bounce-back York! New figures show that city’s recovery is among the best in the country
York’s recovery from lockdown is among the best in the country, new figures show.
Analysis from the Centre For Cities reveals that York has the fourth equal best footfall out of 63 cities and towns around the UK.
Based on stats for the last week in July, the city had 78% of the average pre-Covid footfall.
Highest footfall in UKCities and large towns with the highest footfall in the last week of July (as a percentage of pre-Covid average)
And the same researchers found that York was at number three in the top ten in terms of spend. People is up from a pre-lockdown baseline of 100 to 130 in York.
That puts it just behind two seaside resorts, Blackpool and Bournemouth.
These figures tie in with the research of the York BID, said business manager Chris Bush.
“From the perspective of York BID, over the last two months in the lead up to and indeed after ‘freedom day’, York has experienced healthy levels of both footfall and trade.
“This has been observed visually, seeing large numbers of people in the centre, and through feedback received from our levy paying businesses.
“Footfall data published by SpringBoard supports this, with York seeing levels only 10% down on 2019, where the UK average is 25% down.”
Travelling from distance
The BID and City of York Council have access to data on people movements “and this highlights York benefitting from the staycation market”, said Chris.
Data from O2 shows that during June, more than 49% of total visitors travelled over 50kms (31 miles) to get there.
In July this figure rose to more than 54%, a significantly higher share than the national average estimated at 30.7%.
And data the BID sources from Visa data shows that during quarter 2 of 2021, spend from card transactions in city centre businesses returned to a level comparative with quarter 3 of 2020.
Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for economy and strategic planning, said: “After the easing of restrictions, it is encouraging to see large levels of footfall return to York, and, for some businesses, city-centre spending to be above pre-pandemic levels.
“We are grateful to residents and visitors who are supporting our local businesses in what continues to be a challenging period for many.
“This positive data and York’s overall recovery success is a testament to the proactive and strong partnership work with businesses and key partners across the city throughout the pandemic.
“Together with partners such as York BID, York Retail Forum and Make It York we are working to ensure that York’s city centre continues to be a safe and welcoming place where residents and visitors enjoy spending time.
“Even though restrictions have now gone, we know that some people are still cautious about returning back to the city centre. Through the recently launched campaign, ‘protect, respect and be kind’, we are encouraging residents and visitors to stay safe and do their bit to support our city as we return to enjoy all that York has to offer.”