Winter market boosted footfall by 38 per cent

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Derry’s Christmas market attracted over 80,000 people to Guildhall Square during its four day run in December - a 38 per cent hike on the previous festive weekend.

From Thursday, December 14, to Sunday, December 17, over 83,913 visitors flocked to the city centre to sample the goods and wares of 29 local traders who took part in the Christmas showcase.

Kevin O’Connor, Director of Business and Culture at Derry City and Strabane District Council, told its Business and Culture Committee this week that their investment of £25,000 in the market provided a welcome boost for the town centre.

He said footfall figures showed that only 51,695 people visited the city centre’s main plaza over the previous weekend (December 7-10)

But when the market was on an additional 32,218 people milled though the square enjoying themselves and putting their hands in their pockets.

The busiest day was on Saturday, December 16 when 28,791 people passed through Guildhall Square.

Mr. O’Connor told the committee that a happy balance had to be found between the needs and interests of permanent city centre businesses and temporary market traders both of whom consider Christmas a critically important trading period.

Next year’s market will take place between December 13 and December 16 and a larger budget of £30,000 is proposed for “additional activities/attractions.”