More than a million people flocked to Fargate in Sheffield in March and the following month the city recorded its highest footfall for three years – despite declining national figures.

Figures released by Springboard show that footfall is up by 12.6 per cent compared to last year, with Fargate (9.4 per cent) and Division Street (8 per cent) enjoying more visitors than in previous years.

1,052,345 people visited Fargate in March and 453,754 were counted in Division Street for the similar period. It’s only the fourth time since April 2017 that numbers have broken the magic million.

April’s combined footfall for the city centre is the highest since April 2016 and shows people are returning in even greater numbers to enjoy a range of city events such as the World Snooker Championships and the Sheffield Half Marathon.

Classical Sheffield, the Global Village Market, Easter Fairground the Sheffield Starflyer and Big Wheel have also helped attract more visits to the city centre, as well as the opening of improved public spaces in the new Heart Of The City II scheme.

Unseasonably warm weather, compared with last year’s Beast From The East, may also have led to increases.

But with several other major events on the horizon including Sheffield Doc/Fest, the Invictus Games and Sheffield Food Festival, insiders are predicting one of the highest figures on record for Sheffield.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “This is great news for Sheffield. We have big plans to improve Fargate and Division Street, and judging by these numbers, people are already needing no encouragement to work, shop and live here.

“I believe the city centre continues to look better and better. All the new developments such as the new Heart Of The City scheme, the opening of Charter Square and Kommune, together with the fantastic events we have week on week in Sheffield shows the city centre is bouncing back.”

“This can only help attract even more investors and jobs to the city centre”

Footfall in Fargate and Division Street is independently counted by Springboard using state-of-the-art cameras and data assessment tools.

They are an international company who specialise in footfall and other analytics for city centres and shopping centres.