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First BID annual report shows footfall boost

The Heart of Manchester BID has released its first annual report, with figures showing an increase in footfall and spend across the city's retail core.

The BID, which will celebrate its first anniversary on the 1st April, said that it had helped city centre retailers outperform the national average seven months out of the last ten, according to British Retail Consortium figures, with retailers experiencing significant hikes in sales.

Key events over the last year which were co-ordinated by the BID include the Vogue's Fashion Night Out, the annual Christmas Market, and the Chinese New Year celebration. The Vogue event saw 4,000 shoppers at Exchange Square, Market Street and New Cathedral Street, while the Christmas Markets recorded a 40.8% increase in visitors from the previous year with six million people coming to Manchester, according to the BID.

Over 500,000 sq ft of pavement across the city's retail core were cleaned last year in a joint initiative by the BID with city centre management company, CityCo, while the BID's seven-strong team of City Hosts, employed to assist shoppers on the streets, have welcomed over 66,000 visitors to date.

The Heart of Manchester BID represents over 380 city centre retailers and brings over £5m of extra investment to the city centre retail district over five years.

Jane Sharrocks, general manager at Selfridges' Exchange Square and Heart of Manchester BID chair said: "The sales and footfall figures speak for themselves. While the last twelve months has been a challenging time for retail nationally, Manchester city centre has bucked the trend month after month.

"Manchester is an ambitious city with a strong retail mix and as the UK's leading retail destination outside London, it's completely logical for the city's retailers to have a direct influence and work together to further enhance that position."

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