Figures reveal Mansfield's economy failing to return to pre-pandemic levels

Mansfield town centre’s economy continues to feel the impact of Covid with some incomes not returning to pre-pandemic levels whilst others businesses ‘rode out the storm’

Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 5:49 pm
Mansfield Town Centre ...eerily quiet during the lockdown
Mansfield Town Centre ...eerily quiet during the lockdown

Mansfield District Council figures confirmed town centre footfall in October, November and December 2021, were significantly higher than 2020, but lower than 2019.

Data revealed 462,214 visits to the town in December 2021, 100,000 fewer than 562,861, two years before. In 2020, when the town was under Covid restrictions, only 369,314 visits were made during typically the busiest retail period.

The 2021 figures followed the loss of high street retailers.

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Council income for town centre facilities went up in 2021, compared with 2020, but not back to 2019 levels.

The authority made £270,957 in October, November and December last year from parking, 120 per cent up on 2020’s figure, £122,975.

In 2019, it made £437,658, a 61 per cent drop, partly blamed on free parking at the Four Seasons, in December, due to “faulty barriers.”

Markets failed to return to pre-pandemic levels in October, November and December last year.

Stalls generated £20,942 for the three months last year, 44 per cent down on £37,651 in 2019. In the same period, during 2020 lockdown and restrictions, the authority made just £14,377.

In a council report, Julie Snowdon, town centre manager, said its team “worked very hard” over the festive period, making the town centre a “safe and clean environment.”

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Gary Jordan MBE, Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 Business Group chair, said: “Covid left many of the public still a little sceptical about the safety of shopping in enclosed environments, a fact that retail will need to continually work around for some while yet.

Mansfield Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “Footfalls fell, with people working from home fewer people popped into town.

"Just as things started to get going footfall fell again around December with Omicron. As confidence grows, we’re hopeful things will improve.”

Leon Smith of Xibit Jewellery Shop, Market Street, said “We managed to ride out the storm, our December figures are on a level with the previous December’s.

"We notice footfall is definitely, 100 percent down, but this time of year is typically quieter after Christmas.”

Rachel Richards of the Toffee Hut, Regent Stree,t said: "We noticed a drop in footfall in line with changes in Covid laws, people were more cautious when Omicron hit.”

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