Busy times ahead for town with fire­works and laugh­ter on the way

Midweek Visiter - - Southport Bid -

SUM­MER is of­fi­cially over and we’re now in the plan­ning process for Hal­lowe’en and Christ­mas.

We’ll be an­nounc­ing more on both events in the com­ing weeks.

Be­fore then, how­ever, there’s plenty of ac­tiv­ity com­ing up in town.

At the end of this month the Bri­tish Mu­si­cal Fire­work Cham­pi­onships take place over three nights in Vic­to­ria Park.

A few days later the BID-sup­ported Com­edy Fes­ti­val runs for 17 days from Oc­to­ber 4 to Oc­to­ber 21.

The brain­child of Bren­dan Ri­ley the Fes­ti­val does so much to bring fun and laugh­ter to venues across our town cen­tre.

When that fin­ishes, our own Hal­lowe’en Fes­ti­val will bring lots of spooky go­ings-on to town.

Up­dates on our forth­com­ing events are con­tin­u­ally be­ing added to the BID web­site www. south­port­bid.com so check it out to find out more.

The swel­ter­ing tem­per­a­tures for the sum­mer made it the hottest on record.

Un­sur­pris­ingly those tem­per­a­tures had an im­pact on high streets across the coun­try. Fig­ures just re­leased by Spring­board showed that foot­fall de­clined in ar­eas of the UK apart from North­ern Ire­land which saw a modest in­crease of just over 1%.

Across the North Spring­board re­ported an av­er­age de­crease of 0.7% com­pared to a 5.5% de­cline in East and a 4.3% de­cline in the South­west.

De­clin­ing foot­fall isn’t just down to the weather.

We’ve talked about the rise of in­ter­net shop­ping many times and the im­pact that it’s hav­ing on trad­ing gen­er­ally.

Ear­lier this month we had fur­ther con­fir­ma­tion that, at long last, the Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer an­nounced an in­ten­tion to “re­bal­ance the play­ing field”.

As ever we wait for the de­tail.

The Chan­cel­lor has a dif­fi­cult bal­anc­ing act: he needs to main­tain tax rev­enue which prob­a­bly mean leav­ing busi­ness rates as they are.

How­ever, one op­tion he might be con­sid­er­ing would be to in­crease VAT on on­line sales on goods bought in the UK.

What­ever he’s plan­ning will hope­fully be an­nounced in Novem­ber’s Au­tumn State­ment.

And if the Chan­cel­lor is re­ally con­cerned about the im­pact of the in­ter­net on the high street he’ll be con­cerned about a new set of re­cently re­leased statis­tics.

The UK now has the high­est rate on on­line sales of any de­vel­oped coun­try.

We spend, in ab­so­lute terms, about 25% more per head of pop­u­la­tion than sec­ond placed USA. When you com­pare the per­cent­age of goods bought on­line the UK’s fig­ure of 18% is about 20% higher than sec­ond placed Ger­many.

It’s time for ac­tion!

Pre­pare for some spooky sights when the Hal­lowe’en Fes­ti­val comes to South­port

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