Blackpool Tops UKs Post-Lockdown Footfall, Spending And Night-Time Economy Recovery Lists

Excellent news about Blackpool’s economic recovery has been evidenced by research from the authoritative Centre for Cities in their latest high street recovery tracker (published 12th August, 2021).  Day-time footfall in Blackpool has risen to 120% of the town’s pre-pandemic average according the tracker report – placing the resort at number one in a list of the UKs largest 63 cities and towns. The UK average was about 50%. The Centre for Cities tracker uses anonymised mobile phone data to gauge the number of people in town and city centres at different times of day.

Blackpool’s night-time economy also came under close scrutiny. The Centre for Cities think-tank said night-time visits in the centres of the UK’s 63 largest cities and towns rose by just 16% after restrictions were eased on 19th  July. However, Blackpool also topped that list with a huge increase to 132% of its pre-lockdown average.

In terms of overall spending, using off-line anonymised credit card spend data from Beauclair, Blackpool topped the post-lockdown spending chart, reaching a high 211% of pre-lockdown spending level.

Michael Williams, chair of Blackpool BID, told the BBC that most businesses in the town ‘seem to be recovering well’ and he has seen greatly increased visitor numbers ‘along the promenade and the town centre’. However, he added this warning, ‘Clearly, businesses do remain concerned about the future and many are reporting staffing shortages as employees have left the hospitality industry in favour of jobs in other sectors.’

Compared to Blackpool – big cities are lagging behind in terms of recovery, as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow all had less than half the number of pre-lockdown visitors. In explanantion, the Centre for Cities Director of Policy and Research Paul Swinney, said people’s ‘eagerness, particularly in cities and town in the North and Midlands, to go out and socialise has been a lifeline for many businesses, especially in the night-time economy’.

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The tables below show Blackpool topping the lists in percentage increase post-lockdown.

This news also comes after unprecedented demand for the VisitBlackpool Guide means that a reprint has been necessary. Councillor Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: ‘Our VisitBlackpool team have seen an unprecedented demand for the annual destination guide since it was published at the start of this year. To help satisfy that demand, we have produced a second printed guide that showcases the truly extraordinary range of events, attractions and accommodation that will be open to visitors over the rest of this year. That is complemented by an online edition of our annual events guide which illustrates the sheer scale of entertainment that is on offer.’


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