Leeds Kirkgate Market has over half a million compelling reasons to rejoice in its standing as one of the city’s most cherished shopping destinations.
The most recent monthly footfall statistics released by Leeds City Council for the market reveal that it welcomed more than 500,000 visits in both July and August.
The figures, totalling 507,129 for July and 503,687 for August, mark the highest for the year thus far, partly attributed to a bustling summer schedule of cost-free, family-friendly events and activities.
Through executing this programme, the market team successfully sustained customer traffic during a period when some retail venues typically experience a downturn due to holidays.
These figures also serve as a valuable gauge of the positive impact of the continuous enhancement efforts, rendering the market an even more appealing destination for shopping and socialising.
The last instance of the market achieving a monthly footfall of half a million was in October 2022, recording 500,760 visits.
Meanwhile, the year-to-date total is just over 2.5 percent higher compared to the corresponding period in 2022.
Furthermore, with additional captivating events, such as an Indian food festival scheduled for this Saturday (September 16), set to unfold in the remaining months of 2023, patrons are urged to continue supporting the market and its traders.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said; “These footfall figures are really encouraging and show that Leeds Kirkgate Market, with its proud history and rich character, remains a significant retail draw.
“The market has a special place in the fabric of life in Leeds and we have been determined to give it the love, care and attention it deserves – not least through the various multi-million pound improvements that have been made and continue to be made there.
“The numbers visiting over the summer would seem to indicate that the market team’s efforts – aided by the hard work and commitment of traders – have been very well received by shoppers.”
Recent initiatives and support provided by the council at the market encompass:
A £10 million programme of ongoing initiatives to restore, safeguard, and improve the 1875 ‘blockshops’, the oldest standing structures on the market premises;
The allocation of over £1.4 million in rent relief to assist traders in managing the financial repercussions of the pandemic;
The establishment of the beloved Market Kitchen street food hall and event space as part of a £14 million refurbishment project in 2016.
Currently, the council is contemplating the potential introduction of a ‘container-style’ food village to a section of the market’s outdoor area, with the aim of increasing foot traffic for traders situated in that zone.
Additionally, a planning proposal has been submitted by the council for the development of a new hotel, gym, and commercial units on the George Street flank of the market.
The market’s narrative traces back to the 19th century, with its Grade I listed central edifice being esteemed as one of the crown jewels in the city’s architectural and heritage heritage.