Preston events bring in extra shoppers by the thousand

Big attraction: Crowds of all ages enjoying the Familyfest family event

Big attraction: Crowds of all ages enjoying the Familyfest family event

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Thousands of extra shoppers and revellers flooded into Preston for a pair of major events in the city centre, business chiefs have revealed.

The city’s Business Improvement District (BID) has revealed its Halloween-themed Prestfest event held last weekend saw a lift in night-time visitors to city centre venues by 14 per cent.

Its Familyfest outdoor cinema the previous weekend pushed shopper numbers up by nine per cent.

Across two nights last week, Prestfest brought a host of actors dressed as horror characters out to spook visitors, while seven days earlier hundreds of families turned out to watch films including Disney hit Frozen on a big screen on the Flag Market.

BID Chairman John Boydell said its traders in the city’s day-time and night-time economies had confirmed the rise in footfall had translated in to extra sales.

He said: “It shows the value of staging these events to give people another reason to come shopping or for a night out in Preston.

“Whether you run a nightclub or a pub, a clothes shop or a bakery, all traders recognise customers have choice over where they spend their money, so the BID is doing its bit to differentiate the city from the rest.

“Fortunately, businesses have taken advantage of this spike with great offers and customer service which will make people think of Preston when they are thinking of going shopping or for a night out.”

Preston has a “Purple Flag” accreditation, awarded by the Association of Town & City Management, for a safe, inclusive and vibrant early evening & night time economy.

It shares the accolade with Bath, Westminster, Oxford and Birmingham.