FREE parking and a determination to make Warminster a family-friendly place to shop has helped the town's Three Horseshoes Walk buck the national footfall trend, seeing more, not fewer, shoppers in 2018.

The centre has proved to be a hit with shoppers as the number of visitors has risen above market trends.

The NewRiver-owned town centre mall has bucked the national and regional trend, with footfall for the three months ending in December up 0.55 per cent in contrast to a regional fall of five per cent and a national fall of four per cent.

The figures come despite growing competition from online shopping and larger towns in the area. NewRiver, as part of a hands-on asset management strategy, have seen great success in reducing retailers’ occupational costs in rates, service charges, insurance and marketing to ensure rents are sustainable for its retailers. In 2017, Specsavers moved into the mall from the High Street and negotiations are currently ongoing with two national retailers to come into the scheme.

Three Horseshoes Walk centre manager Peter Ruscoe said: “The figures endorse the hard work the council, NewRiver and the local team are doing to attract more customers into Warminster town centre.

“One of the key driving forces for the increased footfall is the free three hours customer parking which Three Horseshoes Walk offers seven days a week.

“Great strides have been made with improvements to the mall and our good mix of tenants provides cost effective shopping for a range of family needs.

“NewRiver has made significant contribution to its improved appearance with new signs, planters and decoration during the past year and our relationship with the town council will play a vital role as we continue to provide a family-friendly place to shop and an intrinsic part of the Warminster community.”

NewRiver is specialist Real Estate Investment Trust specialising in managing and developing convenience-led, community-focused retail and leisure assets throughout the UK. Its £1.4 billion portfolio covers over 9 million sq ft and comprises 34 community shopping centres, 21 retail parks and over 650 community pubs.

The portfolio totals over 8 million sq. ft. with over 2,000 occupiers, an annual footfall of 150 million and a retail occupancy rate of 97 per cent.