MORE than 40,000 people a week visited Blackwood town centre during December, making it the most popular for shopping in Caerphilly county borough in the run-up to Christmas.

And its busiest week was that beginning Monday December 17, when the pre-Christmas rush brought in 55,080 people.

That was around 9,000 more visitors than Caerphilly town centre during the same week, and more than 10,500 up on the previous week.

Caerphilly council figures indicate that the number of shoppers heading into town centres in the county borough in December were consistent with 2011’s footfall.

And despite national concerns about the effect of the current economic downturn, shoppers were not deterred with weekly figures for many areas often outperforming the national average.

The success may be in part down to the Unique Places Christmas Shopping Card scheme, organised by the council in partnership with town centres and retailers. This provided shoppers with discounts at 85 stores, including independent retailers and national high street chains.