Worcester’s MP has praised the resilience of the High Street and of the city’s strong independent retail sector after the city saw a spectacular 59% increase in footfall from November to December last year and a year on year increase of 17% bucking national trends that saw high streets losing out to online sales. Nationally the year on year footfall on High Streets was down 5% on 2016, whereas Worcester’s city centre saw a significant increase but even more impressively the increase of almost 60% in Worcester between November and December was almost double the national figure which saw a month on month increase of 32%. The success of Worcester’s Victorian Christmas Fayre, as well as the regeneration of Cathedral Plaza, will have made a significant contribution to Worcester punching above its weight but Walker has also praised the efforts of the Worcester BID and the decision of the city council to keep down parking charges over recent years.

Robin visited a range of local small businesses during December as part of the Small Business Saturday annual event and he has been pleased to see the High Street and its market stalls consistently thronged over the busy Christmas period. As well as campaigning for business rates reforms to help high street businesses and celebrating the strong record of Worcester Independents, the MP has campaigned to keep parking charges down in Worcester, helping to defeat a previous Labour administrations plans to put them up. As he predicted the lower charges have led to higher revenue for the city council as more people visit the city and use its car parks.

Figures produced by Worcester BID show Worcester’s strong outperformance of the national trend in December 2017:

  Mth on Mth % Yr on Yr
National Benchmark +32.3 -4.9  
Worcester +59.2 +17.1  
Difference +26.9 +22.0  


Worcester BID Manager Phoebe Dawson said:

“We know that 4 out of 5 transactions continue to be made in store and it is therefore imperative that we work closely with our partners to ensure that Worcester is the destination of choice. Our shift to a more digitally focused Christmas marketing campaign provided us with a larger platform from which to showcase our wonderful city and its businesses, reaching over one million potential visitors, tourists and local residents.”

Commenting, Robin Walker said

“I am delighted to see that Worcester is attracting such large numbers of visitors and that the Christmas season which has been mixed for national retailers has seen a strong turnout on Worcester’s High Street and around our city centre.”

“A thriving city centre is key to a city like ours and keeping a strong mix of independent shops, cafes and restaurants is vitally important to the feel of the city. It is good to see that developments such as the new Cathedral Plaza have played their part in driving footfall but also that longstanding fixtures such as the Victorian Christmas Fayre have been more successful than ever.”

“Such success has many parents but I would like to congratulate the Worcester BID for all the work they have put into supporting the city centre, the Council for their decision to keep parking charges down and most of all our excellent shopkeepers and entrepreneurs. A successful Christmas season for our city bodes well for the year ahead.”


Notes to editors

For more information on Robin’s previous High Street campaigns, see: