Newquay BID puts best foot forward and monitors footfall
As part of one of its first projects in its brand-new five-year term, Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) has re-instated the town’s footfall monitoring counter on Bank Street, and is working on installing a new second device on Cliff Road over the next few weeks. Both monitoring devices will collect a wealth of data for the town, which will help inform future decisions aimed at improving the town and will allow BID to assess the impact of any campaigns or initiatives on people’s movements. Newquay BID is the only organisation that is collecting this data on behalf of the town and this is the first time since 2013 that Newquay is collecting such in-depth intelligence.
Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) has been working with Springboard Research LTD on this project, an organisation that quantifies foot traffic in the UK throughout high streets. Using sensors, artificial intelligence, and computer vision, the technology can provide actionable footfall intelligence for town wide figure collation.
Since April 1st, the pre-existing counter on Bank Street has been re-activated and has been collecting comprehensive footfall figures. The devices offer 24/7 footfall monitoring of both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, which will provide a wealth of data for businesses, authorities and future investors, including seasonal averages, variations, daily and monthly footfall reporting, which then allows comparisons to be made to other coastal towns and also grants BID to qualify to take part in other quarterly reports that can be accessed through Springboard; including a town wide vacancy rate survey and access to an advanced dashboard from High Streets Task Force.
This data will be key for many existing platforms that operate in the town, such as the recently formed Newquay Town Team, who will use these supporting figures to source innovative, future funding opportunities. Data will be accessible to all BID levy paying member businesses and authorities, with links to such reports and figures being issued monthly via the Newquay BID newsletter.
The intelligence will enable businesses to identify key patterns and trends which will be able to inform and influence their future marketing efforts to increase trade and maximise their own profits. In addition, it will enable businesses and the town to measure the impact of events and discover any notable changes, trends and habits that may be an effect of the pandemic and allow them to monitor the ever-changing town centre usage, particularly by comparing current footfall data to historical data which will also be made available by Springboard.
Carla-Marie Jones, Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) Manager, said, “We’re delighted to be leading on this footfall project which we feel will be of huge benefit to Newquay, particularly as no other organisation is currently collating footfall on behalf of the town. Our town needs some statistics to back it longer term, for both the current and future economic landscape, potential future investment and funding opportunities. This is also a way for pre-existing businesses to really understand their towns footfall trends and then capitalise on them. This simple, yet effective way of monitoring town centre usage will be useful for everyone. It is great to know that we will be giving our town the best chance to anticipate and spot changes to usage as well as ever-changing consumer habits over the coming years.”
Carla continued, “It will be interesting to see the difference in footfall data pre and post COVID-19 and whether the pandemic will have generated any new, visible trends on our high street over the coming months once restrictions begin to ease. The staycation trend is set to boom this summer and Newquay is already gearing up for a busy year so, at the end of this year, we will all be able to reflect on this in comparison to other years. It’s a great way for us all to plan future marketing campaigns and events to ensure Newquay sustains its year-round desire as a key destination to live, work and visit.”
“Logistically, the additional second counter at Cliff Road will allow us to collate and cover footfall trends at the opposite end of the town so we can gather comprehensive data for the town centre, rather than just the Bank Street area. This is incredibly useful in helping identify any areas that may be up and coming and showing where future investment or project works may need to be targeted. We are going to be disseminating a summarised monthly report with these figures to BID members monthly via our newsletter. Data will be published online for businesses to access themselves too. The sort of data members can expect to see will include highlights of year-on-year trends, monthly stats for both locations, insight into the busiest days of the month, the busiest time of the day and any seasonal changes.’
This simple, yet effective way of monitoring town centre usage will be useful for everyone. It is great to know that we will be giving our town the best chance to anticipate and spot changes to usage as well as ever-changing consumer habits over the coming years.