We’re delighted to share that their first ever day-long Christmas Lights Switch-On Festival was a huge success.
On the day of the event, which took place from 10am to 9pm on Saturday 20th November, Newbury town centre experienced one of its busiest days in nearly three years, topped only by the final two Saturdays before Christmas in 2019. We’re thrilled to reveal that footfall was up by 16% on the previous Saturday, recording total visitor numbers of nearly 35,000 (about twice the seating capacity of Madison Square Garden), from across West Berkshire and beyond. The event helped to ensure that last week was the first full week since before the pandemic hit in March 2020 when footfall exceeded normal levels, with more visitors in the town centre than during the same week in November 2019.
The BID delivered a day of over 20 free festive activities and workshops for children, adults and families alike, ranging from Alternative Christmas Wreath Making, hosted and delivered in partnership by two local independent businesses, The Dolphin Pub and Willow and Blooms (both on Bartholomew Street), Card Printing workshops from City Arts Newbury at Newbury’s very own department store, Camp Hopson, Beer Tasting at The Spare Wheel, and Papercraft Decorations at The Globe, to name but a few, and not to forget Mr Green Grinch and a Frozen Princess at Newbury’s oldest store, Barry Forkin-Toomers.
Venues were at full capacity throughout the day, with some workshops running out of supplies by midday. Cupcake Decorating at Waterside Youth Centre, led by Colline’s Kitchen, ran out of ingredients and had to re-stock, as did Santa’s sweet supply, which needed re-filling by 1pm at the Grotto based at Parkway Shopping. We also received confirmation from Parkway Shopping that footfall figures were up 181.3% from the same day the previous year.
Ed Turner, at The Dolphin Pub, commented:
Helen Vickers, of Willow and Blooms, added:
And it wasn’t just the businesses who saw the event as a success for Newbury. We’ve been inundated with positive comments from local stakeholders and town centre visitors alike.
Paul Hopwood, Newbury resident, emailed in to praise us for our efforts and express his thanks for the event:
Alison Drummond, our Operations Manager, says:
Our next event is the Victorian Christmas Fayre, taking place on Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th December.
To find out more about what’s happening in Newbury this Christmas, please click here.