Home Business and economy Visitors to Kirkby break new record
A circular logo which says "Kirkby Town Centre. In the background is a busy high street

Visitors to Kirkby break new record

by Jonathan Kearney

Kirkby Town Centre is continuing to buck national and regional trends with reports showing another significant increase in footfall over the all-important Christmas period.

Footfall data for the week leading up to Christmas showed a 10% increase compared to the same period for the previous year.  In fact, footfall in Kirkby Town Centre in Christmas 2023 was the highest overall level since recording began in 2016.

The data covers Kirkby Shopping Centre areas including St Chad’s Parade and the Kirkby Market area.

The Kirkby data is all the more impressive when compared to national data for shopping centres which decreased by 15.5% in 2023 compared to pre-pandemic data (2019).

A year ago, on 4 January 2023, BBC News shared data which showed that footfall in Kirkby Town Centre had increased by a huge 160% over a three-year period (2019 to 2022).  It was the highest increase in the whole of the UK.

Local investment and regeneration in Kirkby, along with the opening of the retail development which includes a Morrisons supermarket, are key factors behind the increase.

Knowsley Council has invested £43.8m in Kirkby Town Centre over the last four years after buying the town centre in 2019 from private developers in order to kick-start its development.

Councillor Tony Brennan, Regeneration and Economic Development Cabinet Member, said: “I’m delighted to see Kirkby’s development over the last few years, and really pleased to see proof that our offer is attracting more visitors.

The Council’s investment and regeneration in the town centre was a key factor in this success, but it wouldn’t be possible without the commitment of traders, local businesses and local residents who are supporting our local economy and shopping local.

This latest data once again demonstrates that we are providing what our residents need as well as showing that Kirkby is a great destination for investors and businesses.

The increase in footfall is helping to secure new businesses in Kirkby, with over 20 businesses opening their doors over the last few years, and I look forward to welcoming even more over the coming months and years, providing an even greater offer in our town.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about business opportunities in Kirkby Town Centre, contact Jon Lowe, Head of Land and Development at Knowsley Council, by emailing Jonathan.Lowe@knowsley.gov.uk or calling 07827 256151.