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Events and free parking lead to footfall surge

Footfall in Wigan town centre has increased thanks to recent events and free weekend parking.

Wigan Council teamed up with local companies Nwcc Event and Haigh Foodie Friday to deliver the highly successful Comic Con and Food Fest on the Square events during September.

On Saturday 1st, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy actor, Spencer Wilding, made an appearance at the town centre’s first Comic Con. The event saw an increase in footfall of almost 6,500, meaning it was The Galleries’ busiest day of the year yet.

And, following the accomplished format of Haigh Foodie Friday’s monthly festival at Haigh Woodland Park, residents were treated to street food, drink and entertainment in Market Square on Saturday 22nd September, which led to a footfall increase of 3,500 people.

Council leader, Councillor David Molyneux said: “We know that people enjoy coming to the town centre and it has now become much more of a social space than in previous years.

“Habits are changing, so we’re looking at all the ways that we can capitalise on this and diversify our offer to match what people want.

“Holding events like this in The Galleries demonstrates our commitment to breathing new life into the shopping centre and is just the beginning of what could be possible in the future.

“The free parking has also made a huge impact and has proven to be an incentive for people to come into the town centres. In Wigan, we saw an increase of more than 400 cars across just two council car parks after the first weekend of the offer. We are extremely confident that this will only increase.”

The successes of each event haven’t gone amiss by the public either with residents showing support on social media.

Speaking about Food Fest on the Square, Gareth Jones said: “Absolutely excellent from Wigan Council, actually encouraging custom to the area instead of trying to pull it away. Brilliant.”

Paul Barrow-Hemmings said: “The pizza stand and burger/pulled pork is amazing!”

Speaking about Comic Con, Debster Ann Clarke said: “Awesome photos and a fab day.”

In addition to Comic Con and Food Fest on the Square, the town centre also hosted the annual Diggers Festival and Wigan 10k during September, which encouraged families and groups to come together in the heart of the town centre.

For more information about local events, please follow Wigan Council on Facebook and Twitter.

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