Ballymena celebrated New Year with news that the town centre’s overall customer footfall was up 8.1% for December 2016 compared to the same period for 2015.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council figures - supplied by the retail intelligence company, Springboard - represent a considerable increase in footfall and is all the more astounding given that figures for Northern Ireland, and the UK as a whole, show only a small increase of 1.1% and 0.9% respectively.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE said; “We are absolutely delighted with the significant increase in footfall figures for December for Ballymena town centre.
“Ballymena BID, supported by Council, has worked very hard to promote the town centre with a number of events organised during and before the Christmas period.”
Alison Moore, Ballymena BID manager said that the added success of the Ballymena Bear advert - which has had over 135,000 views online – was also a major factor.
“The public appearances of its stars, Bertie and Bella in and around the town, really did create a unique experience for shoppers and visitors,” she said.
“I’m not denying that traders are working in a challenging environment but, as we continue into the New Year, I am confident that people will support our local retailers and businesses particularly given the great mix of high street and independent retailers, coffee shops and eateries.
“The town really does have something to offer everyone,” the BID manager added.
The comprehensive Christmas marketing campaign by Ballymena BID was to encourage shoppers, the local community and visitors to make Ballymena their destination of choice.
Through a combination of engagement with local retailers and businesses to a digital marketing presence and the hugely successful, and famous, Ballymena Bear 2 ‘Miracle on Broughshane Street’ advert, the campaign proved successful in increasing the footfall for the month of December.
In addition, and in association with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, the BID organised a range of performers and entertainers to perform in the town centre’s streets every Saturday in December to ensure shoppers and visitors enjoyed their time in the town.
Alison Moore continued; “It’s important that we continue to market Ballymena and all that it has to offer. After all, Ballymena is one of Northern Ireland’s best shopping towns in Northern Ireland.”
Keep up to date with what is happening in Ballymena by visiting the Ballymena BID website www.ballymenameans.com