Swansea city centre has seen one of the UK’s biggest boosts in visitor and worker numbers in recent weeks.
The location makes the top 10 in several league tables of city centres attracting footfall back as coronavirus restrictions are gradually eased.
Statistics show it being Wales’ most successful city centre in luring people back.
The first week in August saw the city centre enjoy a:
- 26% week-on-week increase in footfall (UK average 11%)
- 19% increase in visitors from Monday-Wednesday (UK average 8%)
- 5% increase in workers returning to city centre offices (UK average 0%)
The data – from think tank Centre for Cities – reveals that Eat Out To Help Out is helping the high street.
Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: “The stats show that we’re leading the way in Wales and are strongly outperforming UK averages.
“We’ve worked hard with partners, businesses and the public to ensure that the city centre has reopened safely in phases and in line with government guidance.
“This collaborative approach has been well received and has been backed up by us offering incentives to business to help get the local economy back on track.
“Many in the hospitality trade have taken advantage of our streamlined process to create pavement trading areas and generous grants to invest in outdoor furniture.
“We’re pleased that the public have responded by enjoying the city centre responsibly at day and night.
“Hundreds of millions of pounds is being invested in our city centre; it’s becoming a great place in which to live, work and enjoy quality spare time.”
Russell Greenslade, chief executive of Swansea BID (Business Improvement District), said: “These are hugely positive statistics. They show what can be achieved when all parties with an interest in the long-term health of our city centre work collaboratively.
“The figures demonstrate that we have a firm base upon which to build.
“Here at Swansea BID we’ve been working throughout the lockdown period and have seen Swansea city centre and its businesses across all sectors slowly but surely re-opening.
“We’ve been working hard to provide them with the support they need as part of our Covid framework plan.
“Swansea city centre has exciting plans for continued growth and we encourage visitors and shoppers to continue to support our hard-working businesses safely and responsibly.”
Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities that revealed its new stats in its the Centre for Cities High Street Recovery Tracker, said: “Good weather and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme have helped increase the number of visitors to city and town centres.”