City sees a bumper festive season thanks to collective effort
A much-needed boost to footfall for shops and hospitality in Truro was seen over the festive period, new figures reveal.
Thanks to events in the month leading up to Christmas including The BIG Christmas Market, free parking on Small Business Saturday, Late Night Shopping, and Festive Friday which kicked off the season, the city centre was filled with hustle and bustle.
Truro BID Manager, Alun Jones, shared some figures to quantify the discernible buzz on the streets of Truro: “Our footfall counters saw footfall increase by 5.9% overall in comparison to last December, showing particular strength on Wednesdays for Late Night Shopping as well as Saturdays. Footfall on the last Wednesday before Christmas indicated that over 55,500 people visited Truro to shop, eat, and generally enjoy the city’s festive offering.”
The BIG Christmas Market was relaunched for 2023 with alpine-style wooden cabins, a street food and bar area, a packed entertainment schedule, and a giant snow globe.
With extended markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays for Late Night Shopping – which also saw local traders lining Boscawen Street – the boost in footfall was spread further throughout the city.
Abi Steel from Visit Cornwall said: “We’ve seen the growing importance of Christmas markets around the country in driving visits and creating a great atmosphere over the festive season. The improved market attracted visitors from across Cornwall and beyond, and we hope to see the event going from strength to strength. We look forward to working with Truro Farmers Market, Cornwall Event Cabins, and Visit Truro in marketing the event in the future for the benefit of all.”
Stewart Girvan, whose company Cornwall Event Cabins provided the new and locally built cabins, said it was a successful introduction:
“The cabins were a big hit with both the traders and the public. We’ll be using them for various events throughout the year, and hiring them out for other local festivals. Christmas ‘23 created the foundation of a major destination market here in Cornwall and with the dates already fixed for 2024 the message is that people don’t need to go to Exeter or Bath – Truro is the place to be!”
Donna Morcom from Sekoya HR, headline sponsors of The BIG Christmas Market, said: “We loved being a part of the city’s flagship festive event last year. It was exactly the kind of magical, uplifting, feel-good event that everyone needed to remind them that Christmas is all about collective experiences – not online shopping from the sofa!”
Sarah Curley from Cornwall Shop Small, which had a pop-up shop in collaboration with Salt Projects Ltd on Lemon Street, added: “Our pop-up shop of local joy was buzzing over the festive season, and we were delighted to showcase our local creators and curators in this prime position. The feedback was that people were thrilled to see so many high quality, small local businesses represented both at our shop and at the markets. It gave the city a unique selling point as a Christmas shopping destination full of genuine heart.”
Lynn Manning, Owner of Mannings Hotel said: “We certainly saw a boast in footfall thanks to The BIG Christmas Market and various other festive happenings, with lots of people enjoying our bar and restaurant while taking a break from shopping. I hope we’ll continue to see this positive, innovative, and collaborative approach to marketing Truro as a destination throughout the year.”
The BIG Christmas Market will return from Friday 22nd November to Tuesday 24th December 2024, with even bigger and better plans in discussion; any traders keen to register their interest should contact email@example.com.
Photos: Truro Farmers Market