Released on 28 July 2020 Press Release
With lockdown easing and more shops opening, evidence from Stratford-on-Avon District Council's parking services shows that people are returning to the town.
Last week figures showed 14,218 visitors against 19,177 (from the same week last year).
Cllr Ian Shenton, Operations Portfolio at Stratford-on-Avon District Council says: "These figures are showing an improving picture, which is pleasing to see. Together with partners, we have tried to introduce a number of measures to make sure people have the confidence and feel safe to visit and on this evidence it shows these measures are working.
"Since May there has been a steady increase in visitor numbers when numbers were 48% of the previous year to 74% last week. Evidence from our car parking services are also showing that visitors are staying 2% longer than last year, which could be down to the start of the school holidays and more people enjoying staycations this year.
"Our market operator is also seeing an improving picture, with market stall holders reporting improving footfall and more importantly, improving spend. This weekend also saw the re-opening of our leisure centres where there was a steady return of customers wanting to return to their fitness regime and ward off the potential of obesity.
"However, we should be mindful that the virus has not completely disappeared and that we must all work together by observing the safe distancing measures that will be implemented both inside and outside shops to keep us all safe. Although a sense of confidence is returning to our High Street, the clear message is Stratford town centre is open and offers a great and varied experience for all residents and visitors alike - Visit Safe | Stay Safe.
"We urge people using the town and the facilities to act responsibly, to socially distance, to wear masks in shops and to dispose of their litter sensibly, all steps helping to keep the town safe and attractive."
Tor Wilkes, Marketing and Events Manager at Stratforward says: "Stratford is well and truly open with great summer vibes! There's now so much to do including boat cruises and boat hire, Butterfly Farm, the Big Wheel, Magic Alley, Escape Live, the Mini Golf, Tudor World, children's fair and of course the amazing gardens and parks. Shakespeare's Birthplace will be opening on 1 August so more great news. Most businesses are open with many safety measures in place and more will be reopening early August.
"The new street furniture the elegant trees and planted containers look wonderful and lift the town. The banners on Bridge Street barriers also soften the street scene and this all helps to add to the vibrancy of the town.
"Restaurants and cafes are loving seeing their regulars back and settling into a new routine, though with less seats to allow for social distancing. Hairstylists are working long hours to fit in their clients as fast as possible to return their normal pizazz! Retail is continuing to gradually see an increase their takings, although they are significantly down and more shops are opening. Nearly all our hotels are open, and by offering low rack rates and booking cancellation flexibility, their occupancy levels are good especially at the weekend. We are moving in the right direction and footfall is growing each week."
The District Council, Stratford Town Council, Stratforward BID, Warwickshire County Council and Everyone Active Ltd have been working together to help ensure everyone visiting Stratford town centre for shopping and sport and recreation has a safe and enjoyable experience.
To assist with the safe reopening of high footfall public spaces, temporary public realm and highways measures to help pedestrians maintain safe social distancing have been introduced by Warwickshire County Council in Stratford town centre. These temporary measures are critical to public safety and the district's economic recovery, and have been brought in to support the reopening of non-essential retail and tourism businesses.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575