Officials hail record visitor figures for King’s Lynn town centre

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Shopping visitor numbers in the centre of Lynn reached record levels during the run-up to Christmas, it has been revealed.

More than 40,000 people came into the town centre on the final Saturday before the festive period, according to figures contained in papers published ahead of last night’s West Norfolk Council meeting.

And council chiefs say the upward trend has also been reflected by a six per cent rise in car parking revenues.

The figures were revealed in a report by David Pope, the authority’s cabinet member for ICT, leisure and public space.

He said: “Footfall figures for King’s Lynn town centre showed that Saturday 20th December reached 41,000 with 216,000 in total for the week. This is the highest ever recorded for King’s Lynn.

“The figures are also reflected in the council’s parking income which is six per cent up on the previous year to the end of December, approximately £130,000.”

Meanwhile, Abbie Panks, manager of the Vancouver Quarter shopping centre, which monitors the footfall figures, said there had been a steady growth in numbers since last September, with particularly significant increases in both October and December.

She also reported that figures for the first three weeks of this year were also up on those for 2014, a trend she described as “encouraging.”

But she added: “We cannot rest on our laurels, we must continue to work together to bring more people into the town whether that be to shop, visit the historical side of town or come along to events, or indeed a combination of all.”

Earlier this week, Mr Pope’s cabinet colleague, Elizabeth Nockolds, unveiled plans for a series of events, beginning with a light festival in late March, which she hopes will help to boost visitor numbers still further.

Other highlights are expected to include the Hanse festival in May, which will take place the day after a major international trade conference in the town, celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta in June and a freedom parade for Lynn’s Air Cadet squadron in July.