FOOTFALL figures across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole high streets in April show a marked increase in visitors and shoppers.

BCP Council hailed the data as a “boost to the retail and hospitality economy after a challenging couple of years” as each town reported footfall figures similar to or surpassing that of pre-pandemic levels.

Footfall data for Bournemouth’s high street confirms in April this year, more than 4.6 million people visited during the month, an increase of 36 per cent from the previous year and similar to pre-pandemic levels in April 2019.

Christchurch, meanwhile, welcomed 1.3 million visitors in April which was an increase of eight per cent on the previous month and a strong 17 per cent increase from pre-pandemic April 2019.

In Poole, more than 2.6 million people visited the high street, an increase of 11 per cent from the previous year, with the figures ahead of the national benchmark by 23 per cent over the three-year period.

Bournemouth Echo: Poole High Street sees footfall increase in April 2022Poole High Street sees footfall increase in April 2022

The local authority has credited several initiatives with helping the rise, including the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and campaigns including the Shop Local and the £3.1 million Cleaner, Greener, Safer initiative.

It also comes as the council rolled out its £1.25 million High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme for Poole.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, portfolio holder for development, growth and regeneration, said: “It’s great to see that more people are visiting Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s high streets as evidenced in the footfall figures.

“Throughout the pandemic we worked hard to support businesses across our retail, hospitality and trade sectors with several grants schemes to get them through the crisis. Now we need to ensure we continue supporting these sectors while encouraging others to do the same so that we bounce back stronger than ever before.

“Our high streets are constantly evolving, more now than ever before, and we continue to work closely with our partners and the local community in aligning and growing this process, so they remain exciting, vibrant, friendly spaces for everyone.”

Smaller projects include the £100k pilot regeneration scheme for Highcliffe, Kinson and Broadstone high streets – which intends to “showcase the full potential” of the three areas.