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Burnley 2nd place for high street recovery

  • Burnley’s high street is recovering well following the COVID-19 lockdown
  • In joint second place for high street recovery, according to Centre for Cities
  • It’s also in 6th place for largest increase in footfall since non-essential shops reopened on 15th June

Burnley is so far bouncing back well from the COVID-19 lockdown, with its high street recovery currently in second place in the UK.

The town is joint with Southend in the Centre for Cities study, with Basildon taking the top spot. Nearby Blackburn is in sixth place, whilst at the bottom lie Cardiff and Edinburgh.

According to the study, Burnley is in sixth place for the largest increase in footfall since the reopening of non-essential shops on 15th June. Since 15th June, the footfall of the town centre is up 65 per cent compared to the same period last year, Debbie Hernon, manager of Charter Walk Shopping Centre, revealed.

Laurence O’Connor, chair of Burnley BID, said: “It is positive and welcome news that so far, Burnley’s high street is recovering well from lockdown. The businesses in our town have proven innovative and resilient during this time and it’s great to see locals supporting the town. We saw when the non-essential shops reopened on the 15th June just how busy the town centre was, with people respecting the social distancing measures in place.

“Now many of our bars, restaurants, pubs and other retail are reopening, we hope the recovery continues and that people feel safe being in a town of Burnley’s size. With the fantastic variety of independent and big-name retail, early evening economy and nightlife, people can stay local when easing back into the post-lockdown ‘new normal’.”

Burnley is 80 per cent rural and benefits from a large pedestrianised shopping area, much of which is uncovered. This should hopefully assure those visiting the town centre that it is a safe experience to do so.

Centre for Cities said: “The first output of the high street recovery tracker illustrated that it is particularly strong city centres which are facing a slow recovery of their high streets. This is mainly due to office workers still working from home. The places where they shop or get their lunch, the after-work pubs, all remain empty. The problem is more severe for stronger city centres as office space is more central to their city centre economy. For these cities, the main challenge is around getting workers back and is at this point, out of their control. National-led schemes such as a temporary VAT cut or time-limited vouchers to spend locally can be possibilities to boost demand.”