At last Monday’s Council meeting I raised the issue of the drop in footfall in Dartmouth’s retail hub during regatta week. You may have read on this site that during regatta week the footfall around the camera locations in Fosse street and overlooking the Royal Castle Hotel dropped by 17% week on week and 13% year on year. This shows that the traders in the town often suffer during regatta week unless they are situated on the embankment. This issue has been raised many times in the past, not least by myself when I served on the regatta committee representing the Chamber of Trade. In contrast the Woofstock event which is held for one day on Coronation Park resulted in a 6% increase in footfall during the week compared to the week before. I dont know why this happens but clearly it is linked to the fact regatta is a river based event, but I believe it is also due to the creation of a new high street along the embankment consisting of mostly outside traders who take trade away from the town center.
The response from the Regatta Committee President was essentially “you win some, you lose some!”. From the Mayor it was a case of - its always been like this so what can we do about it.
For me it is unacceptable that during regatta week many businesses behind the front line of the embankment suffer their worst trading day of the season. Regatta may be good trade for some businesses but it doesn’t have to be like this.
The Mayor agreed that the issue will be discussed with the regatta committee. we need to understand better how to resolve this long term problem.
If your business suffers during regatta please respond to this item.