Harborough Market footfall count shows rise in visitors

Published Thursday 8 February 2024

Visitor numbers to Harborough Market over the festive period have grown annually according to council data.

Market Harborough Market Hall
Market Harborough Market Hall

Over 84,000 customers shopped at the market in December 2023 which is an increase of 1.5% on 2022 and 20% increase on 2019 (pre-Covid).  

Footfall in general was up 5.2% last year on 2022 and early figures for 2024 are following a similar trend indicating that more people than ever are supporting their local market and independent traders.

Occupancy levels of traders continues to stay at 100% on fixed units and the casual daily traders fill remaining spaces.

In 2023, the market benefitted from significant improvements to the heating in the food hall with a state-of-the-art air-conditioning system installed in September along with a white ceiling and paint refresh to match.

Other works have included new doors along the car park side with the addition of an extra customer entrance allowing easier access from the car park to the building. Plans are also underway to install a community defibrillator.

Cllr Phil Knowles, Leader of Harborough District Council and Cabinet lead for Culture, Leisure, Economy, and Tourism, said: “It’s great news that Christmas trade was generally buoyant for businesses within the market and that footfall increased last year overall. Some traders reported that spend was lower than in previous years and I think this is due to uncertainties around the cost of living and how that will be in 2024. Markets will hopefully continue to be supported by consumers as they seek to find better value for money on the products they buy.”

Harborough Market is owned by Harborough District Council. The venue has a diverse range of traders selling their wares including South African Biltong, vintage collectibles, eco-refills, cheese, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, Dim Sum, jewellery, haberdashery, fabrics, accessories and gifts.

The market will host a number of exciting events in 2024 with the upcoming Comedy Festival Harborough Big Weekend on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February where the market hall is transformed into a venue. The programme welcomes great comedians to include Jonny Awsum and Scott Bennett. Tickets are available from the box office at comedy-festival.co.uk at just £15 an adult for an evening of laughs and fun.

There will also be the return of Comic Con and Railex and new themed weekends including Steampunk and 1940s to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.