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Montage of image from the town centre summer events

Summer events boost town centre businesses

by Jonathan Kearney

Last weekend saw the finale of the Say Hello to Summer season of weekend events across Knowsley’s town centres, but its legacy is set to continue.

Since the end of July, visitors have been captivated by a host of exciting free, family-friendly events and activities. Giant robots, baby dinosaurs and mesmerising carnival acts were among the attractions to descend on Kirkby and Prescot Town Centres and Huyton Village Centre.

Not only did the events entertain visitors of all ages, they also had a positive effect on businesses, with shops, restaurants and cafes seeing an increase in visitors and customers. Stores such as Superdrug and Select in Kirkby have reported an increase of sales and Greggs, also in Kirkby, was the best performing store in the region this summer.

Chris Shelmerdine from The Coffee House in Huyton Village Centre said: “Huyton Village came to life thanks to the range of events taking place every weekend over the summer holiday period. These events have had a huge impact on footfall, and we are delighted to have seen record revenues with 31 July being one of our busiest day ever.

“Not only have the events been a great way to spend the summer holidays, they also have a longer-term impact on the village centre. They are helping showcase the amazing changes that have taken place over the past few years, and we have no doubt they are welcoming back individuals who may not have visited for a long period of time.

“There are many reasons to feel optimistic about the future of Huyton Village Centre and the summer events programme gives a flavour of what’s to come.”

Richard Sutton, Owner of Poco Coffee in Prescot, said: “The last two Saturdays in July saw us post record sales and have contributed to July being our highest ever single month’s trading figure since we opened in 2013.

“The buzz in and around Prescot on these days has been fantastic and proves these events do help massively to increase footfall.

“Events like these, coupled with the help we have received from Knowsley Council, has given us the confidence to invest back into our business with refurbishment and equipment.

“We believe we are coming out of this pandemic a stronger business, as it has given us sharp focus in ensuring we are doing all the basics to the best of our ability. The support from Knowsley Council and the Town Centres team is very much appreciated.”

Cllr Tony Brennan, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “Feedback following this summer’s town centre events has been really positive from visitors and businesses alike. Residents have sacrificed so much because of the pandemic so it’s fantastic that people of all ages have been able to enjoy events such as these in our town centres once more. Significantly, our local businesses benefited, which is great news for the economy of the entire borough as we start to recover from the pandemic.

“The summer events are just the beginning and now work has started on our plans for the autumn and Christmas period. We look forward to announcing details in the coming weeks so keep an eye out on social media.”

For updates about events happening near you be sure to keep up to date with Knowsley News (www.knowsleynews.co.uk) and the Council’s social media channels.

Search for Huyton, Prescot and Kirkby town centres on facebook, twitter and Instagram.

The Say Hello to Summer season of weekend events across Kirkby and Prescot Town Centres and Huyton Village Centre have been supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the Liverpool City Region Mayoral Fund.