Hull's Bonus Arena has given footfall at nearby Princes Quay a significant boost since opening in August 2018, shopping centre managers have revealed.
The 3,500-capacity arena has drawn a wider audience to the city, with local retailers and food and beverage operators directly benefiting - and with a pedestrian link to Princes Quay, the arena has helped give trade a boost with evening footfall increasing by up to 27%.
The shopping centre, which comprises 80 units over four levels, has galvanised the opportunity presented by the new venue by teaming up to offer tickets, prizes and special offers at its own leisure and restaurant destinations. Some 16 competitions have run across social media, reaching more than 102,000 people and attracting 2,650 entries.
Nando’s and Pizza Express have reported significant rises in trade on performance evenings, with sales boosted by up to 40%. The centre’s car park has also received a lift, with hundreds of additional visitors.
John Magee, Princes Quay centre manager, said: “The Bonus Arena has welcomed a wide range of visitors since opening its doors and we’ve been working with the venue to capitalise on the additional footfall to the city. Our retailers and restauranteurs have seen a positive impact on their trade and we’re looking forward to welcoming new operators to the centre.
“The venue, alongside our 10-screen Vue cinema, bowling and Laser Quest has given the evening economy a boost and we’re always looking for ways to diversify our offer and make Princes Quay a destination for both shopping and leisure.”
Bonus Arena general manager Dan Harris said: “It has been a hugely exciting and successful first year – from that wonderful opening night with Van Morrison to packed-out performances by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra, Madness and Stereophonics to name just four.
“We’ve been delighted with the welcome and enthusiasm from the residents of Hull who have been hugely supportive since day one. But we’re also very pleased to see so many people coming to Hull from outside the region – and from much further afield – which is boosting the local economy in so many different ways.”
Some 200,000 people have either bought tickets for or visited the £36m Bonus Arena in its first year, which has hosted almost 100 events and performances. Visitors from all over the world have visited the multi-purpose arena, with 78% of ticket sales going to people in Hull and the East Riding. Visitors from further afield have also come from Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, the US and Canada.
Princes Quay welcomes more than 5.4 million shoppers per year, with footfall growth consistently ahead of regional and national averages and six new permanent signings in 2019, including toy retailer Toytown, and leisure operator Enigma Escape Rooms.
Following a £20m investment in 2017, which saw the opening of an outlet level bringing high street and outlet shopping together, the centre has gone from strength to strength. With new shop openings and additional investment from retailers across the centre, footfall has increased by 12% since 2016.