Leeds city centre experienced a surge in footfall thanks to the introduction of a new Christmas market, which saw a record 5,642,691 visits over three weeks, contributing to the local economy and holiday spirit. The market featured traditional stalls and social hubs, and was accompanied by other festive attractions such as an open-air ice rink and cultural festivities, making Leeds a winter wonderland for visitors.
What impact did the new Christmas market have on Leeds city centre footfall?
The introduction of the new Christmas market in Leeds led to a 13.6% increase in city centre footfall, with a record 5,642,691 visits over three weeks. The market, featuring traditional stalls and social hubs, contributed significantly to the local economy and holiday spirit, alongside other festive attractions.
Festive Footfall Boom in Leeds
The introduction of a new Christmas market has brought a wave of visitors to Leeds city centre. An impressive footfall was recorded, marking the busiest days the city has seen since 2019. Within the short span of three weeks, starting from November 24 to December 17, specialist cameras positioned at eight key locations monitored an astonishing 5,642,691 visits. This figure represents a 13.6% increase compared to the previous year.
- November 25 Surge: The day following the market’s opening was particularly notable. An outstanding 338,299 people visited, with Briggate alone attracting 57,209.
- Top Footfall Days: December 16 and 2 followed closely behind, tallying 336,142 and 320,056 visitors, respectively.
Such numbers not only signify a successful event but also a city alive with holiday spirit and activity. Leeds has enjoyed a year-to-date footfall increase of 2.5% compared to 2022, a clear indication of the city’s growing appeal.
The New Christmas Market Experience
Leeds City Council’s innovative approach to Christmas festivities has materialized into a sprawling market that spans 13 different areas of the city centre. The market, delivered by Marketplace Europe at no cost to the council, has diversified Leeds’ festive offerings.
- Market Layout: Visitors can explore traditional timber stalls adorned with festive lighting, showcasing international and local products.
- Outdoor Bar Areas: Social hubs have popped up on Briggate, Quebec Street, and Dortmund Square, adding to the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor praised the market’s role in boosting the city’s economy and spirits, stating:
“The new Christmas market is clearly a huge incentive for people to come and experience what Leeds has to offer over the festive season…”
The councillor highlighted the council’s pride in having achieved a special Christmas environment despite financial constraints.
Additional Attractions Boosting the Seasonal Appeal
Leeds’ festive allure doesn’t end with the market. Other attractions have seen significant increases in patronage, contributing to the city’s winter wonderland.
- Ice Cube Success: The open-air ice rink at Millennium Square reported a 22% rise in bookings. An additional 3,366 skaters enjoyed the ice compared to last year.
- Cultural Festivities: Leeds BID’s projection on The Queens Hotel and a variety of shows and pantomimes at city theatres have augmented the Christmas atmosphere.
The Christmas market concluded its run on December 22, while Ice Cube continues to welcome visitors until December 31. With the city already abuzz with thoughts on next year’s market, a forthcoming survey will invite public feedback.
For those interested in the seasonal happenings in Leeds, detailed information can be found at Visit Leeds Winter Season.
With the market’s success and the council’s forward-thinking strategies, Leeds is setting a benchmark for city centre revitalization during the holiday season. The city’s ability to draw crowds and create a festive environment is a testament to the hard work and collaborative efforts of various stakeholders.
- The introduction of the new Christmas market in Leeds led to a 13.6% increase in city centre footfall, with a record 5,642,691 visits over three weeks.
- The market featured traditional stalls and social hubs, contributing significantly to the local economy and holiday spirit.
- The day following the market’s opening saw an outstanding 338,299 people visit, with Briggate alone attracting 57,209.
- The market spanned 13 different areas of the city centre and included traditional timber stalls and outdoor bar areas.
- Other attractions in Leeds, such as the open-air ice rink and cultural festivities, also saw significant increases in patronage, enhancing the city’s winter wonderland atmosphere.