Stockport lies 12 miles South from the City of Manchester. It has a population of 300,000 and various district centres.
The Town Centre of Stockport is a mix of old industrial era premises and new modern architecture.
Stockport town centre is home to the largest Mercedes dealership in Europe, sits on the M60 motorway and is 6 miles from Manchester Airport.
The town centre is a mix of national chains retailers and a growing number of independents.
The town is split into various areas with regards offering from the old Produce Hall in the market place, Merseyway shopping centre to the new Red Rock cinema complex.
The Stockport BID was set up to improve and enhance the town centre offering. Creating events, working with the Police on making the Town Centre safer as a result Stockport attained the Purple Flag award for night time economy safety and emenities.
The BID needed a way to measure and assess effectiveness of events and all the activity and understand the flow or people around the Town Centre.
Proximity Futures provided two solutions:
- Free WiFi for the public – to enhance the experience and provide GDPR compliant demographic data collection to understand where people were coming from.
- GeoSense – to understand how people were using the town centre. Leaving old anecdotal evidence and generating qualitative data. This has enabled the BID to evolve and develop initiatives based on tangible results.
The BID has launched many events including The BIG Day Out, Dinosaur Day, Christmas events and Stockport’s Giant Leap Frog Art Trail. These have resulted in a huge swell in visitors. Throughout the summer, weekly footfall peaked at 337,000 delivering an additional £1,290,000 into the town centre’s weekly economy.
In November 2018, free WiFi was installed across the town centre enhancing the visitor experience for over 18,000 users. But, perhaps most importantly, the system also records valuable, anonymous data that provides intelligence used to measure visitor numbers and ensuring town centre based activities and events are what people want, attracting new and returning visitors while continuing to showcase the positive changes that are taking place across Stockport.
Through the GeoSense portal and data, this provided the metrics for success and a new art trail is planned for 2021 along with many other events.