The tills have been jingling in Bradford stores in the run-up to Christmas.

Catherine Riley, manager of the Kirkgate Shopping Centre, in Bradford city centre, said it had been “extremely busy.”

She said: “There has been more movement and life in the centre, a real bustle in the air.”

She encouraged people to bring their families as the children could see Santa and shoppers could have their gifts wrapped, all for free.

She added that the extension of the centre’s later opening hours had proved popular among city centre workers.

Meanwhile, shoppers have been flocking to The Broadway.

General manager Ian Ward said: “We’ve seen more and more customers take advantage of the later closing times in the weeks leading up to Christmas, which we expected.

“We’ve seen a very successful trading period at the centre this year. We really do have everything under the one roof.”

He said there was also plenty of entertainment for children, with Santa’s Grotto and a magical giant snow globe.

Mr Ward predicted: “By the time we get to the end of the trading period for this year, we’re expecting to have seen our footfall figures rise by 1.5 million.”

A survey of 2,000 people by British Land, owner of Forster Square Retail Park, found that, although people in Bradford were likely to have made their first Christmas purchase as early as August, almost half (49 per cent) had left it until this week to do their gift buying.

The survey also found that Bradford people would spend on average £214 this Christmas, compared to the national average of £213.

Catherine Furlong, Forster Square centre manager, said: “Christmas is an extremely important time of year for our shoppers, with an incredible amount of effort and planning going towards making it perfect.”

Meanwhile, Craft Market, an indoor craft market in Bradford’s Darley Street, Bradford, has seen a steady flow of customers, but not as many as expected. The market, which opened in January this year, covers three floors and has 59 traders. Owner Barrie Naylor said it was “not as busy as I expected but not bad either – could be better.”

Oastler Shopping Centre already has plans for the upcoming New Year celebrations.

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “Our events space has proven a great success in the short time it’s been going and we’re already planning more events for the New Year to increase footfall and dwell time in the market.

“We’ve also introduced the market shuttle bus from the interchange to encourage more people to visit.”

Figures provided by the centre revealed footfall numbers in November, were 209,920, an increase of more than 46,000 from the previous month.

The Council spokesman added: “We are pleased that it is similar to the footfall figure for November last year, especially as this was when the Broadway Shopping Centre opened.”