Salisbury Business Improvement District

Christmas in Salisbury 2019 round up

13th January 2020

More than 1.6 million people visited Salisbury city centre throughout November and December.

The Christmas in Salisbury promotional partnership (Salisbury BID, Salisbury City Council, Salisbury Cathedral and Wiltshire Creative) said Christmas in the city was a huge success and they would like to thank everybody who supported Salisbury over the festive season.

Nearly a million people visited Salisbury city centre in December 2019, with Saturday 7th December being the busiest day of the month.

December’s footfall in the city was up compared to December 2018, bucking the UK’s High Street trend which was on average down 3.5%.

In a survey carried out by Salisbury BID, over 70% of businesses said their takings were either the same or up in December compared to December 2018.

• Over 1.6 million people visited Salisbury city centre in November and December
• 120,000 Christmas in Salisbury what’s on guides were posted
• 30,000 people enjoyed a Christmas show at Salisbury Playhouse
• 26,330 people joined a service at Salisbury Cathedral
• 16,000 people visited the Tree Festival at St Thomas’s Church
• 10,000 people skated around Salisbury’s ice rink in the Guildhall Square
• 4,300 people attended a concert at Salisbury Cathedral
• 1,478 advent calendars were sold in Salisbury Cathedral’s Gift Shop
• 450 people completed the Salisbury Nutcracker Trail
• 431 Salisbury Gift Cards were purchased (over £15,000)
• 336 people saw Santa in his Grotto at The Guildhall
• 323 did a Twilight Tower Tour at Salisbury Cathedral
• 180 events were listed on the what’s on guide on the Christmas in Salisbury website
• 105 lanterns joined the Lantern & Lights Procession

Salisbury Christmas Fayre was organised by Salisbury City Council for the first time this year. The Fayre saw 48 traders take over the Guildhall Square in authentic German-style wooden chalets and the popular ice rink also returned for the 6-week festive period. New for this year was the pop-up tipi bar, Frost, which saw hundreds of visitors enjoy a drink by the log fires in the cosy venue.

It was a very Merry Christmas at Wiltshire Creative’s venues, as more than 30,000 people enjoyed the pantomime Robin Hood and the new musical adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, specially written for young audiences. Both productions were created in Salisbury, using Wiltshire Creative’s scenery workshop, wardrobe and rehearsal facilities.

This year’s Robin Hood was another record-breaking year, and Wiltshire Creative are encouraging people to book their tickets early to avoid disappointment. Tickets for 2020’s spectacular new production of Cinderella are now on sale. This year’s Robin Hood was another record-breaking year, and Wiltshire Creative are encouraging people to book their tickets early to avoid disappointment.

At Salisbury Arts Centre, Wiltshire Creative’s Christmas offering included a festive murder mystery, Christmas stand-up comedy and music from Moscow Drug Club. There were also festive films and Christmas crafts such as wreath making. Overall, Salisbury Arts Centre entertained more than 1,000 people over the Christmas period.

Between advent and Christmas, around 26,330 people joined a service at Salisbury Cathedral and an additional 4,300 people attended concerts including The Snowman with Live Orchestra, Messiah with City of London Sinfonia and the annual BBC Wiltshire Carols Concert.

In total, Salisbury Cathedral’s gift shop sold 1,478 Advent Calendars, 2,500 Christmas decorations, 871 packs of Christmas cards and 1,036 individual Christmas cards. The Christmas lights and decorations around the city have now come down, however the pea lights wrapped around the trees in Salisbury’s Market Square will stay on until the end of March to brighten up the city until spring arrives.

Plans are already underway for Christmas in Salisbury 2020, and details will be announced in due course.

Cllr Jeremy Nettle, Leader of Salisbury City Council, said: “I don’t remember my first Christmas, but will never forget this one - a first for Salisbury City Council and our partners. “There was something for everyone - from Santa’s Grotto to ice skating and whether you had a ride on the horse drawn carriage, took a photo on Santa’s sleigh or maybe enjoyed well-earned drink in Frost after shopping at the Fayre, I am sure you’ll agree that Christmas in Salisbury this year has been a great success with a lovely selection of offerings throughout the city, appealing to all ages.

“The added footfall benefits all, and there was a lovely festive atmosphere throughout the city. No wonder Salisbury Christmas Fayre was voted by Ideal Home as the 3rd best-in Europe!”

Wiltshire Creative Artistic Director, Gareth Machin, said: “We were delighted to be part of a fantastic Christmas offer in Salisbury, drawing thousands of people into the city from as far afield as Scotland and even New Zealand to enjoy all that Salisbury has to offer.”

Robin McGowan, Chief Executive of Salisbury BID, said: “The Christmas in Salisbury promotional partnership was a huge success and it meant we could effectively communicate with residents and visitors what was going on in the city over the festive period; encouraging more people into Salisbury and more spend in our businesses.

“The Christmas in Salisbury what’s on brochure was hugely popular again this year, with many people commenting how useful it is to have a printed guide to easily find out what’s happening in the city. And we also had great engagement on the Christmas in Salisbury website and social media channels. Overall, this year’s Christmas in Salisbury was a huge success and we look forward to being a part of building on this for 2020.”