Visitor numbers at Castle Quarter increased by seven times more than in Norwich as a whole (+1.2%), and more than twice the rates in the East of England region (+3.5%) and the UK (+3.1%).
The increase in visitors was reflected in a number of performance indicators across the scheme, with over 75% of occupiers posting higher trading figures compared to 2022. Footfall, average dwell time, and car park usage all increased year-on-year during every month of 2023.
Whilst maintaining its traditional retail footprint, an increase in the number of uses now means leisure, food and beverage, and community services account for 50% of Castle Quarter’s footprint.
Notable additions to the scheme include Boom Battle Bar, Putt Putt Noodle, Escape Hunt and Vector VR, independent restaurant chain Silhouette, and Castle Social, a ‘market hall’ style street food and entertainment concept.
More growth is expected in 2024 as new operators arrive and the adjacent Norwich Castle reopens following a £14m refurbishment.
Mark Harvey, executive director and head of asset management at RivingtonHark, said: “To see Castle Quarter show such strong performance across different metrics underscores the success of our repositioning strategy. By bringing in new leisure and F&B operators that add to the social and lifestyle dynamic of the scheme, Castle Quarter is attracting new visitors and demonstrating the important role such destinations have in city centre life.”
Rob Bradley, centre manager at Castle Quarter, added: “The surge in visitors to Castle Quarter highlights the ever-increasing popularity of the options available, be it daytime shopping, grabbing something to eat, going to the gym, watching a film at the cinema or competitive socialising with friends. Castle Quarter provides something that cannot be found elsewhere in Norwich city centre, and it is fantastic to see more and more people coming here to enjoy themselves.”