500,000 watched Olympics on Big Screen
THE Big Screen attracted more than 500,000 people to the city centre during the Olympic games fortnight.
Footfall cameras at the Plymouth Live Site, on the piazza, counted the number of people passing during the London 2012 coverage, between the opening ceremony on July 27 to the closing ceremony on August 12.
The figures also show 15,000 people were present at the site for key events, including the diving competitions featuring Plymouth's bronze medallist Tom Daley.
Clint Jones, Plymouth city centre manager, said: "Having so many visitors in the city for big events like this provides a real boost to retail."
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But Ray Robins, chairman of the Market Traders' Association and Cornwall Street Shopkeepers Association, said that while the screen attracted people it didn't mean they were spending cash.
"I don't think it had any bearing on trade," he said. "The screen is bringing people into the city centre but it's difficult to improve trade in this climate."
Mr Robins said August's trade had been no different from 12 months earlier and was "bottoming along".
Meanwhile, the screen is now showing the London Paralympics as an official London 2012 Live Site – the only one in Devon and Cornwall.
The Plymouth Live Site is run in partnership between London 2012, the BBC and Plymouth City Council and supported by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, partners BT and Lloyds TSB, and supporters Cisco and Cadbury.