Crowds spell home win for businesses

Uncertain future: Kevin Bryan and his family face being evicted from the former B&B they wanted to turn back into a family home, after the council said the property had to be run as a hotel because it is in a designated 'holiday area'
Uncertain future: Kevin Bryan and his family face being evicted from the former B&B they wanted to turn back into a family home, after the council said the property had to be run as a hotel because it is in a designated 'holiday area'

Traders today welcomed the boost in business on the back of Fleetwood Town FC’s promotion as clubs bring more fans to the port.

With just four home games of the season gone, businesses say they are already feeling the effects of the Town’s promotion to League One.

Winning team: Steve Lynton , of the Granada Fish Bar, celebrates winning a Trip Advisor award last month with Fleetwood Town's Stephen Dobbie and Stephen Crainey

Winning team: Steve Lynton , of the Granada Fish Bar, celebrates winning a Trip Advisor award last month with Fleetwood Town's Stephen Dobbie and Stephen Crainey

Although it is still early days, bosses say the promised increase in footfall on match days appears to be the much-needed shot in the arm they had hoped for.

Peter Lees, owner of the Highbury Chippy, which sits opposite the Cod Army’s Highbury stadium, said: “I’ve got all the visiting supporters down at this end.

“As far as I am concerned, they are much better supported teams so they are bringing more fans to the games.

“It’s a huge boost for me. I can only speak for myself but I think we are getting the benefit.”

His views were echoed by Gordon Gibson, landlord of the Kings Arms, on Lord Street.

“It’s a definite boost to business,” he said. “It’s bringing a lot of business in.

“We get more home fans and we get some away fans too – but they are a good bunch.

“It has been a good thing for the town.”

So far, the club has welcomed the likes of Crewe, Chesterfield and Leyton Orient in the league.

The matches all attracted attendances well above last season’s average of 2,819. A Tuesday night Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against League Two Morecambe had an attendance of 2,045.

But with games against bigger clubs like Preston North End and Sheffield United still to come this season, there are hopes the best could still be on its way.

Granada Fish Bar boss Steve Lynton said: “I’ve seen quite a few away shirts and with certain clubs we do notice an increase.

“I am always optimistic but it’s still early days.

“No doubt we will have certain teams who will bring a lot of fans who want fish and chips.

“Others will want to go to the market or to the beach, which is good for the town.

“But even if you get two extra people through your doors, that is better than not having them.”

Fleetwood Town are set to host two of the league’s better supported away teams in the next four days, welcoming Barnsley tomorrow and Bristol City on Saturday.

Both teams had an average away following of more than 2,500 last year.