New shops in the pipeline and footfall booming as town enjoys record Christmas
- Credit: Archant
Footfall in Huntingdon is at its highest level since recording started in 2013, according to data released by BID Huntingdon.
It is thought that the introduction of the revamped Chequers Court shopping area has helped increase the footfall by more than 14 per cent year-on-year as Huntingdon is now pulling shoppers from a wider catchment area due to the improved facilities.
Jeanette Rowden, of BID Huntingdon, which works to support and improve the town centre, said: “Huntingdon has continued to see the best footfall since recording started in 2013 and we appear to be doing better than the eastern region and the UK as a whole for towns of similar nature.”
According to BID Huntingdon, in the week before Christmas, almost 200,000 people visited the town – the highest number recorded.
And there is further good news for the town after it was revealed that talks about new shops coming to Chequers Court were at an advanced stage.
Stephen Clarke, director of Churchmanor Estates, which owns the precinct, confirmed that conversations with occupiers for the remaining units were ongoing.
Mr Clarke confirmed that five units are under offer and have been since late last year, although no names have yet been confirmed.
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He said: “These tenants are going through the legal process and hopefully will all be open after the completion of fitting out for Easter. We could not be more excited with the progress we are making in attracting new retailers to Huntingdon and to help existing retailers expand.
“I feel that our faith in the town centre has been well rewarded by all the favourable comments we have received from retailers”.
“Certainly our investment has helped Huntingdon buck national trends and with the increased house building in the area, we can only see footfall growing over the next few years.”
The Urban Country store, which closed in December after a year of trading, is also under offer. The owner of the handbag and luggage retailer Tim Lockey, called for greater flexibility in leases after saying he could not afford to take the risk of committing to a 10-year lease on the premises.