The numbers visiting Oxford’s Covered Market have continued to grow, even staying strong during the January lull.
New data from Oxford City Council shows that Oxford Covered Market had almost one million visits in 2019 and there was an increase in year-on-year footfall in the run-up to Christmas.
Footfall was up 4.22 per cent in the run-up to Christmas, with 115,941 visits in the six weeks to the end of 2019, compared to 111,248 visits over the same period in 2018.
During 2019, there were a total of 997,760 visits. These statistics come from footfall counters installed by the city council, which manages the market, in late 2018, to measure the effectiveness of promotional and advertising activities.
All of the 61 available units in the market were also occupied during December, with a waiting list of would-be tenants. The council is now talking to businesses and organisations about taking on the small number of units that have become vacant since Christmas.
The news follows a number of measures taken to promote and improve the historic building. In the run-up to Christmas, the council, working with local creative agency Monchu and filmmaker Adam Hale, produced an advert to promote the market.
Then, earlier this month, award-winning social enterprise Tap Social announced it would open a bar and events space in the Covered Market this summer. Moreover, the city council is also investing £3.1m into the Covered Market, which is Grade II-listed and dates from 1774, to try and secure its longevity.
The investment includes £1.8m to make sure the roof lasts another 60 to 80 years, as well as £1.3m for internal refurbishment. A new masterplan is being drawn up for the future of the market – it should be ready by the end of the year.