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City Park draws 100,000 people a week into Bradford city centre
New electronic footfall counters installed around City Park in Bradford have recorded an average of nearly 100,000 visitors a week at the six-acre park throughout July and August.
The latest figures have been revealed by Bradford Council after the details of a study into the economic benefits of the park were reported last week.
According to economic consultants Ekosgen, visitors have spent an extra £1.3 million in Bradford in the six months since the City Park opened and it has attracted 220,000 more people.
The study said the extra spending has brought about an upturn in trade for local businesses including the Kirkgate shopping centre which has reported “a significant increase in footfall”.
At the time Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, the Council’s portfolio holder for employment, skills and culture, said the statistics compiled for the Council would give new businesses a good reason to come to the city.
But the figures contrast with a report compiled in 2007 by Locum Consulting looking at the impact of the City Park on visitor economy which outlined that the park could attract up to 2.2 million visitors a year and bring up to £80 million extra a year to the economy.
Coun Hinchcliffe has now clarified the difference between the two sets of figures. The original report was produced as part of a funding bid to Yorkshire Forward for the City Park and a business park around the pool on the site of the magistrates court and the remainder of the old police station.
After losing out on National Lottery funding a scaled-back project, which excluded the neighbouring business park, was funded by the Council, the regional development agency and the Regional Transport Board.
Coun Hinchcliffe said: “The 2007 figures were based on City Park plus the office blocks round the City Park as a combined figure. Obviously we don’t have the offices yet so the Ekosgen figures are based purely on City Park.
“Ekosgen were also looking uniquely at visitors and spend generated by the city centre events, they were not looking at spend generated by visitors coming in and out of the park on an every day basis. The figures from Ekosgen showed that in six months, events in the City Park contributed £1.3 million in spend and 120,000 visitors.
“The additional 100,000 of visitors outside the events came from an estimate officers made on a manual estimate in one week in July. This is perhaps where the confusion has set in because officers' estimates were actually very conservative indeed.”
She said they received data from the new electronic footfall counters around the park which show that in July and August there were an average of 100,000 visitors a week. This could equate to up to 5.2 million visitors a year, although the figures so far are based on the busier summer months.
“We now want to look at this figure and analyse how many of these visitors were just passing through and how many stayed and spent. This will take some time and requires more data collection,” Coun Hinchcliffe said.
The Park was officially opened in March and its final costs are still unknown, although the Council has said it expects this to be close to the estimate of £24.5 million. It features a mirror pool and 100 fountains.