Claim a footfall dashboard and track your high street’s COVID-19 recovery

Published 22 April 2021
Last updated 22 April 2021

Technology offered by the High Streets Task Force estimates footfall volumes based on local population data. Place leaders and groups can also add their own footfall counts to track progress from reopening to recovery.

Local authorities, place managers, businesses and civic groups in England have been invited to claim their own footfall dashboard to help monitor the performance of their high streets and progress towards recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

The High Streets Task Force is offering the technology – funded by government – to help those managing high streets to understand local footfall and to track their own footfall counts and trends as activity in towns and cities begins to grow.

Footfall is a vital metric which provides a measure of activity on local high streets. As highlighted by a Task Force 2020 review, how and when people use high streets is changing. People’s mobility has been impacted by COVID-19 and evidence supports this increase in local working and shopping.

Faced with these changes, the footfall dashboard technology offers local authorities and place leaders support to make evidenced-based decisions and are provided with training on how to conduct local footfall counts and record this data in the most effective way.

The new support led by the High Streets Task Force comes as local authorities are encouraged to create long-term COVID-19 recovery plans, with support from the government’s Welcome Back Fund.

The dashboards will offer a range of specific support for locations thinking about their recovery:

  • Baseline footfall estimates tailored to a high street or other location, to help place leaders understand whether observed footfall is higher or lower than the local catchment population would predict
  • Sentiment from social media on local organisations’ activity, to provide a simple view of local attractions and activity, and how people are interacting with bricks and mortar businesses online
  • Training on conducting local footfall counts, delivered alongside access to a location’s dashboard, to help those without existing data to measure and interpret local activity
  • ‘Recovery tracker’ allowing regular short footfall counts to be logged and tracked, creating a visualisation of how footfall is changing over time

 

Professor Cathy Parker, Task Force Research Lead, said:

‘For place leaders, tracking local footfall is more important than ever. Nobody knows exactly what the ‘new normal’ will be for high streets and we’ve already seen different impacts depending on the type of place. However, if our high streets are going to have the best chance of building back to be vibrant and resilient hubs, we need to take decisions based on data and not just gut feel.’

‘That’s why the Task Force is committed to helping those that manage or support high streets, giving them a way to track footfall and benchmark their own performance via a dashboard.’

‘We hope to engage places across the country and help them answer questions like ‘is Saturday still the busiest day of the week’ and ‘how will visitor numbers change as indoor hospitality and events return’.


How to claim your dashboard

Those interested in claiming a footfall dashboard for their high street should apply via the Task Force website.

To help collect local footfall data, the Task Force is asking applicants to follow a footfall counting programme and conduct a weekly manual count, for a minimum of one hour.

All applicants will receive full training on how to use their dashboard and how to conduct a footfall count.

*Please note, should demand be such that the Task Force is unable to provide all applicants with a footfall dashboard, regional indicators of deprivation and inequality will be used to select recipients that would most benefit from support for local place transformation.