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Why are more visitors coming to Cromer while other high streets are struggling?

PUBLISHED: 11:56 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:27 16 January 2019

The Wonderland set on Cromer Pier. It's thought the BBC production has brought a tourism boost to the town. Photo: PAUL MACRO/www.paulmacrolandscapes.com

The Wonderland set on Cromer Pier. It's thought the BBC production has brought a tourism boost to the town. Photo: PAUL MACRO/www.paulmacrolandscapes.com

Archant

Cromer is celebrating an increase in numbers in the town centre at a time when high streets up and down the country are said to be in crisis.

A scene from the BBC's Wonderland.. Picture: BBCA scene from the BBC's Wonderland.. Picture: BBC

Civic leaders said Cromer’s appearances on national television helped raise the town’s profile and led to an influx of visitors in the lead-up to Christmas and for the annual New Year’s Day fireworks.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) said the display was watched by around 12,000 people - up 2,000 on the previous year.

Cromer featured in a BBC ident, called Wonderland, a two-minute Christmas-themed film the broadcaster made in the town.

Sarah Bütikofer, NNDC leader, said: “There are anecdotal reports that the town was busy during December, and also that this year’s New Year’s Day fireworks were very well attended, which may be an indication of the impact of the ident.

Another scene from Wonderland. Picture: BBCAnother scene from Wonderland. Picture: BBC

“The ident was a fantastic success for Cromer, Cromer Pier and north Norfolk and we were delighted to host and assist the production team in their work.”

MORE: WATCH: First look at BBC One’s moving Christmas trailer filmed in Cromer

A BBC film crew was in town from October 2 to 4 and decked out the pier with a Christmas tree, helter-skelter and other amusements and decorations.

Thousands of people watched the filming, but the details of the production were kept tightly under wraps until Wonderland first aired on December 1.

The film told the story of a mum and her teenage son who found time had frozen, allowing them to spend a day together at the pier during the busy festive season.

New Year's Day 2019 fireworks over Cromer Pier. Wonderland is thought to have contributed to a boom in visitor numbers at the event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNew Year's Day 2019 fireworks over Cromer Pier. Wonderland is thought to have contributed to a boom in visitor numbers at the event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

David Pritchard, Cromer’s mayor, said he had been proud to see the town featured. He said he’d also noticed an increase in visitor numbers, especially on New Year’s Day.

MORE: Can you capture the spirit of Cromer’s New Year’s Day fireworks?

He said: “I would like to see more of Cromer being used for such events. They help spread the word regionally and nationally about what a beautiful town it is. It’s helping to make Cromer a 365-day resort rather than just a summer resort.”

Mr Pritchard, who grew up in Wales and has lived in Cromer since 1998, said friends from across the country told him they had recognised the town from the short film.

And the BBC boost is set to continue. The broadcaster said an episode of Antiques Roadshow filmed on Cromer Pier in June last year would air on February 5.

The BBC filmed Wonderland on Cromer Pier in October, 2018. Picture: SONYA DUNCANThe BBC filmed Wonderland on Cromer Pier in October, 2018. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Crowds at Cromer for the filming of the Antiques Roadshow. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCrowds at Cromer for the filming of the Antiques Roadshow. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Fiona Bruce during filming of the Antiques Roadshow in Cromer in 2018. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFiona Bruce during filming of the Antiques Roadshow in Cromer in 2018. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The BBC filmed Wonderland on Cromer Pier in October, 2018. Picture: SONYA DUNCANThe BBC filmed Wonderland on Cromer Pier in October, 2018. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Cromer's mayor, David Pritchard. Picture: David PritchardCromer's mayor, David Pritchard. Picture: David Pritchard

Sarah Butikofer, NNDC leader. Picture: David BaleSarah Butikofer, NNDC leader. Picture: David Bale

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