A shopping centre has smashed through the 3.5 million barrier for the number of customers as it celebrated a record-breaking year.
New figures show Eagles Meadow in Wrexham bucked the national trend and increased footfall by two per cent in 2017.
According to centre manager Kevin Critchley, it was the perfect preparation for their 10th anniversary this year.
The centre opened in the teeth of the recession back in 2008 and has now grown into the “jewel in Wrexham’s commercial crown.”
Banks of sophisticated measuring equipment sited at various points within the centre show footfall shot up to a record 3,545,430 during 2017.
The count taken from the balcony area alone shows an increase of 13 per cent from 698,028 in 2016 to 788,763 last year.
Mr Critchley said: “We are delighted with the final figures, which show we’ve gone through the 3.5 million barrier for the first time.
“This is a significant achievement and underlines the fact that Eagles Meadow is bucking the downward trend for shopping centres in smaller towns and is doing better year on year than its counterparts in Wales and also Scotland and the north, south and Midlands of England.
“One of the key factors in the success of Eagles Meadow continues to be the affordability of our car parking charges.
“The positive effect of the reduction in charges was first felt soon after it came into operation in 2016 and meant that a lot of people who hadn’t come to Eagles Meadow previously because of the higher charges began to visit us.
“I believe they have continued to come to the centre due to the cheaper parking and also because they realise it’s clean, safe, well looked after, has an excellent range of shops and restaurants and is generally a nice place to be.
“Our car park also allows you to stay as long as you like without one, two or three hour restrictions on the time you have available.
“Eagles Meadow is now very much the jewel Wrexham’s commercial crown as more and more people decide it is a good place to come.”
Kevin added: “Both our catchment area and our public have become very loyal to us.
“People also realise that Eagles Meadow is part of Wrexham and is not competing with the town centre.
“Wrexham punches above its weight in the overall scale of things and together Eagles Meadow and the traditional town centre offer a huge range of retail possibilities, from expensive jewellery to bargain stores.
“The tradition was that people shopped for smaller items in Wrexham and then went out of town for the larger things but they are now staying local, which I believe is another factor to our increased footfall and is good news for every business small or large in the town.”