With its bustling bars, funky restaurants and quirky indie shops, students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) love making the most of days and nights out in Leicester.
And it seems that visitors agree – Leicester has just been named fourth most vibrant city in the UK in a new poll, putting it ahead of the likes of Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and London.
The Top Cities Vibrancy Report combines sales with the number of logins from guest wifi spots to track the performance of Britain’s most populous cities every four weeks, to create a picture of trends across the year.
Across the cities, sales increased by 3% on the equivalent pre-pandemic period in 2019. It marks a steady recovery from the previous four-week period, when sales were down by 3% on 2019; and from a challenging end to 2021, when many consumers stayed at home because of Covid-19 concerns.
Gabrielle Miller of Cool as Leicester is a champion for the city and publisher of Leicestershire’s largest online magazine. She said: “It’s been great to see Leicester come back to life post-covid. What I noticed during the lockout period was a strong commitment to support local independent businesses and this seems to have continued as shops and venues have reopened.
“It’s also been wonderful to see the number of new businesses opening up, despite such a long period of uncertainty. It really demonstrates how much appetite there is to enjoy what we have on offer in the city.”
DMU graduate Jason Nesbitt is the founder of the LoyalFree app which promotes offers at local shops and venues as well as hosting interactive trails for events and helping visitors to explore. It runs in Leicester and at cities across the UK.
He said: “"Seeing Leicester climbing the ranks of vibrant cities comes as no surprise to me. Many recent reports are highlighting how incredible the city of Leicester is as a place to live and work.
“With an endless list of fun activities (Caddyshackers and Curve Theatre), a delightful collection of independent businesses (St Martin's Square), fantastic family experiences such as the recent 'Light Up Leicester', and two incredible universities, it's definitely worth visiting and enjoying one of the best cities in the UK!”
The top three most vibrant cities were Glasgow at number one, Birmingham second and Manchester third. The series of ‘Top Cities: Vibrancy Ranking’ reports is based on a powerful combination of sales data from CGA’s Managed Volume Pool of more than 8,000 pubs, bars and restaurants, and Wireless Social’s guest data gathered from more than one million log-ins. It provides the most accurate assessment yet of the vibrancy of Britain’s key city markets for eating and drinking out.
Aashni Sawjani, of De Montfort Students' Union, said: "As an international student, Leicester has now been home for almost a decade. Leicester was amazing when I landed, and over the years it has developed and gotten even better.There's never really a dull day here. With the diverse culture of the city, there will always always be something to do. From food places, to sporting events, to cultural ones. Leicester will have something for your every mood and every season."
Julian Ross, founder and CEO of Wireless Social, said: “The return to positive, pre-COVID sales figures is fantastic news for the sector, with city centres clearly on the way up. Despite this hugely positive insight, the industry continues to face unprecedented challenges in the form of rising energy bills, a hike in VAT and record-high inflation.
“It is, therefore, vitally important that this positive sales uptick continues and we look forward to helping sector businesses to successfully navigate the waters ahead.”
Posted on Friday 1st April 2022