Over 2,000 more people went to Ipswich for Christmas events and markets this year, with festive fun bringing an increase in footfall to the town.

Christmas celebrations in Ipswich began last month, and built throughout December ahead of the big day with various markets, events and family trails for people to get involved with.

People were able to attend and see what the Ipswich Winter Weekender had in store which started earlier in the month and ran over four days, while families were able to enjoy the Sammy the Reindeer trail.

Late-night shopping was also held every Thursday throughout December.

Ipswich Star: Neil MacDonald, Ipswich Borough Council leaderNeil MacDonald, Ipswich Borough Council leader (Image: Paul Geater)

Neil MacDonald, Ipswich Borough Council leader, said: "We've had fantastic feedback from the local businesses and organisations who took part in the Christmas Ipswich Weekender.

"2,100 more people came into Ipswich town centre over the weekend, with a 21% increase in footfall on the Thursday for the Christmas Creatives Market on the Cornhill compared to last year."

While more people came to the town, Cathy Frost, owner of Loveone in St Peter's Street said that it has been a "strange season".

She said: "The Saints Christmas Market was really good, very well attended.

"But December has been a very stop start season for me.

Ipswich Star: Cathy Frost, owner of Loveone in IpswichCathy Frost, owner of Loveone in Ipswich (Image: Newsquest)

"We've had really good days and we've had some where you'd wonder whether Christmas is coming up.

"Spend is definitely down, and talking to other shops on the street, no one is saying it's been a magnificent month.

"It's been a challenging year though, cost-of-living has gone up, prices have gone up and I think that is definitely translating into the sales.

"People are still out there buying though because they want to celebrate and support small, independent businesses.

"I am very positive about Ipswich and its potential, and it is great to see people support small businesses, and it would be great for that to continue into the quieter months of January and February."