KIRKBY Town Centre, owned and managed by UK regeneration specialist St. Modwen, has recorded a bumper Christmas period. More people visited the Town Centre in the two months leading up to Christmas than previous months in 2016, latest figures show. Footfall recorded in Kirkby Town Centre in both November and December averaged at 132,000 per week with a 9.5% increase in the number of people doing their Christmas shopping in the final week of 2016 at 146,000. At the end of November approximately 6,000 people gathered to watch X Factor finalists Reggie ‘n’ Bollie turn the Town Centre’s Christmas tree lights on which triggered a month of festive activities in the run up to Christmas. Reflecting on Christmas 2016, Kirkby Town Centre manager Mike Matthew, said: “This Christmas has been the most successful and busiest Christmas Kirkby has seen in a number of years. Following a series of popular family themed events that took place earlier in the summer it was brilliant to see thousands of people in the town centre enjoying the festive celebrations and shopping.” Advertised on the Town Centre’s social media channels, the community really embraced the Christmas events, which included a lantern parade, carol singing around the Christmas tree and a special visit from Santa. Kirkby Town Centre’s Facebook page, which was launched in April 2016, has also performed well. The number of likes received by the page increased by 70% during the Christmas period. Mike added: “It has also been fantastic for our traders who are reporting an increase in business. Congratulations to Greggs which has been named as the best shop locally and will now progress to the best in region category. We hope local people continue to support their Town Centre throughout 2017.” Plans for the future of Kirkby Town Centre took a huge step forward last year, when St. Modwen set out its development plans following a successful two-day consultation and the firm announced Reel Cinemas was going to anchor the leisure scheme.