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Footfall Figures Debunk Councillor's 'Always Thriving' Claim About Local Shopping Centre

6th February 2019 | By Peter Chapman

The leader of Burgess Hill Town Council has come unstuck by claiming in an interview with a local newspaper, that the Market Place Shopping Centre is 'Always thriving'.

In a piece about local independent traders - who are suffering due to the proposed redevelopment of the Martlets shopping centre pretty much being in a permanent state of limbo - Cllr Pru Moore, Conservative, reacted by saying that the redevelopment is 'progressing well'!!! A hilarious comment considering owners NewRiver Retail secured planning permission for the project in Spring 2016 - yes, THREE years ago! In that time they've just about managed to merge two shop units together.

Cllr Moore then got carried away by claiming that the town's other shopping centre, The Market Place 'is always thriving' Hmmm, really?

Here Come The Statistics
BHU have contacts and managed to get a copy of the Market Place Shopping Centre's footfall figures - which are shared with their tenants.

The headline figure is that the total footfall for 2018 was down 14% compared to 2016.
This date range is relevant because 2017 was the year that NewRiver Retail started to serve notice on their own tenants at the Martlets. It's logical really, a lack of shops = less reason to visit Burgess Hill and thus a knock-on-effect for the other parts of the town centre.

The rate of the drop in footfall for the Market Place shopping centre is actually accelerating with the figure in December 2018 down 18% compared to December 2016.

Footfall figures for the Market Place shopping centre prior to 2017 were very consistant year on year. Between 2013-2016, footfall was up by 2.5%.

Expect More Of The Same Between Now & May 2nd.
With the local elections taking place in just 12 weeks times, you can expect more of the same from your elected councillors as they try to cover their failings from the past four years. Their friendly Horsham-based journalist is on speed dial, waiting to print their exact words in a promient position in the newspaper while those wanting to call them out on their claims are relegated to the letters page buried near the back of the publication!

Fear not however, BHU are standing by to tell you the other side of these stories! More coming soon.....

Spread the word! Council leader tries to downplay the decline of Burgess Hill Town Centre with the local elections just around the corner!

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
Are you surprised that there's reduced footfall in the town centre due to a growing number of empty shop units?

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