Exciting and innovative technology is being utilised in St Annes and Lytham town centres to monitor the footfall of shoppers and visitors, made possible through funding from Fylde Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Funding allocation.

After researching different methods to track ever-changing trends in consumer and visitor habits, Place Informatics have been appointed to provide visitor behaviour and footfall data. Place Informatics require no installation of any cameras or sensors, the data used is known as Smart Data, captured through the anonymous signal of mobile phone users visiting the town centres, it stores no Personally Identifiable Information and is fully GDPR compliant.

Following on from the COVID pandemic and with the rise in internet shopping, now more than ever, the Council are keen to look at opportunities to support local retailers, as well as ways that will provide a pleasant shopping experience and sense of community. We need to ensure we have sufficient information available that will allow our towns the best chance of anticipating and spotting changes to usage and consumer habits over the coming years, and more insightful footfall data can help to achieve this.

Place Informatics are highly experienced in this field and currently use mobility location data to calculate visitor behaviour patterns for over 2,300 town centres across the UK and will now be utilising this expertise in St Annes and Lytham. Kirkham town centre already has footfall monitors in place until March 2024 at which point it will also be possible to use this new technology.

The data itself will be a useful tool for enabling businesses, authorities and future investors to see how town centres, high streets and particular businesses are performing. Understanding how these visitors are behaving, what services they are utilising and where they are visiting from could offer the vital information needed to improve the fortunes of Lytham and St Annes.  The information will be published quarterly on the Council’s www.investinfylde.co.uk website.

Councillor Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council said: “We look forward to the implementation of the new technology in St Annes and Lytham town centres so we can identify where our customers are coming from, where they visit and their shopping behaviours. This invaluable data will enable us to target growth in the right areas and respond to the accelerated shift to online shopping that Covid dealt us, the aim being to attract more business, visitors, and investment for the benefit of our community. It is also a great way for us all to plan future marketing campaigns and events to ensure Lytham and St Annes sustain their year-round appeal as a key destination to live, work and visit.”

To read more about Fylde Council’s UKSPF programme, including the approved Investment Plan, visit the Fylde Council website.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and places, supporting local businesses, and people and skills. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus


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