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Markets get city moving

Fifteen per cent better than last year: welcome back you festive lovelies you

Published on November 30th 2010.

Markets get city moving

A little earlier this year we ran an article on how bare the city squares look when there isn’t a market occupying them (click here).

Footfall in King Street was up by 130% - a massive 185,642 people were counted compared to 80,511 the same week last year, making it King Street’s busiest week since counting system began in May 2006.

The temporary markets in a city centre have become a welcome part of city life. They make the streets more exciting, more colourful.

The proof of the pudding could be found this weekend when Manchester was bursting at the seams with Christmas market punters, passers-by and promenaders.

The city centre was swamped with hordes of people spilling off pavements and with traffic packing the streets. It was a bauble of frenetic activity.

You could feel the buzz.

Manchester’s own stats bear this out with record numbers reportedly beating a trail to the city centre.

There’s been an estimated ‘15% increase in traffic across all the eight market sites’ according to a city report. It goes on to say.

‘In the week beginning 15 November, footfall in King Street was up by 130% - a massive 185,642 people were counted compared to 80,511 the same week last year, making it King Street’s busiest week since the counting system began in May 2006.’

The figure of 1.3m who visited the markets in Manchester in 2009 seems likely to be smashed this time around. One figure claimed the overall impact of the Christmas markets on the city last year was £49.9m, again that should be smashed in 2010.

Not that everybody is happy.

Confidential’s man about town, Sleuth (click here) overheard one curmudgeon in Thomas’s Chop House whinging about how busy it all was and how ‘bad’ the traffic was.

Sleuth jabbing him in the chest defined the word ‘city’ for him as opposed to ‘rural’ and pointed out that nine times out of ten Manchester’s traffic is nothing compared to say, Milan or Hamburg’s. Sleuth then explained how busy normally means income normally means jobs. Then Sleuth poured his pint over his head.

Ok he didn’t do the last of these actions.

But honestly some ingrates with the perspective of a flea eh?

The markets are simply a fabulous asset which it would appear most of us love. By any measure it’s one of those ideas which the city has honed and developed with skill and no little energy. Credit where credit’s due.

Follow Sleuth on twitter Sleuth

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

markthefotographerDecember 1st 2010.

Well bah humbug, but I tend to agree with the guy in the pub. The city does feel too full-on over Christmas, but I would leave the markets and rid the streets of those direct-debit-grabbing charidee vultures who form a challenging human slalom for those of us who just want to do our shopping in peace...

Kevin TilleyDecember 1st 2010.

I second that re the Chuggers!

HowardDecember 2nd 2010.

A friend of mine pointed out the savage irony of these shiny chuggers earning £8 per hour for Shelter whilst the homeless shiver in nearby doorways.

MR UKIPDecember 3rd 2010.

Next time you see a charity worker just tell them that .52 precent of our GDP goes on foreign aid and that you should tell the government to use this money here at home to provide new housing for the homeless . This government is aiming to increase this amount to .70 of GDP shortly ,, astonishing when there's so many people in need of shelter and that we are in 890 Billion of Debt.

Brian CDecember 3rd 2010.

Those chuggers need training. There is a distict line between a friendly approach and their belief that leaping in front of you blocking your path and interrupting your daily business is acceptable. The inane smile and the cheesy greeting is not welcoming, its alarming, intrusive and almost creepy.

TickleDecember 3rd 2010.

Yeah, that's definitely the best way to increase funds available to help homeless people, by taking money away from OTHER needy people. You're insane.

LJDecember 3rd 2010.

Those ones from Shelter on Market Street yesterday were horrendous.

Stuart BamberDecember 16th 2010.

Heard this in the office after lunch, "£4.50 for a pork roll... wouldn't mind... but it was f****** s***"

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