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