Three district councils have joined forces to help local high streets reopen and start trading again.
Breckland Council, South Norfolk Council and Broadland District Council are working together to launch their ‘Confidence’ campaign, which, in the first instance, aims to give people confidence that they can safely shop in their local towns and villages and help businesses get back on their feet.
The campaign is the first stage of a wider plan to help drive the districts’ economic recovery by supporting businesses of all types and helping them sustain jobs.
It is being announced ahead of June 1, when market towns and high streets will start to reopen in-line with central government guidance.
To help get local towns ready and prepared for trading, the district councils are working with their county and town council partners to widen pavements, introduce barriers to facilitate social distancing and, if necessary, close certain streets to ensure a clean, safe and secure shopping experience.
Other measures such as making hand sanitiser available, making council officers available to help support shoppers and businesses, banners, window stickers and floor markings will help pedestrians navigate the high street while keeping a safe distance apart. The aim is to ensure that shoppers have the confidence to leave their homes and go about their normal business, once again.
The councils will also be reviewing opportunities to allow extra time in car parks for shoppers and using streets that have been closed to allow pubs, cafes and restaurants to serve patrons in an open and controlled space.
Council officers will be visiting high street traders which have been given approval by the government to open, to offer advice and guidance which ensures they comply with latest guidance to keep their staff and customers safe.
Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Breckland Council’s Leader, commented: “We are looking at ways we can alter our townscapes to make these spaces as useable as possible and give people the confidence to go about their business. We want to ensure our towns remain vibrant places where people feel confident to do their shopping and business activities in our market towns.”
Cllr Shaun Vincent, Leader of Broadland District Council, said: “This is just the first step in a comprehensive campaign available to every business to ensure they thrive and survive. As well as the market towns initiative each council has put provision in place to support every business with expert advice and guidance.”
Cllr John Fuller, Leader of South Norfolk Council, said: “This recovery will require a whole council response. We will help provide a clean, safe and secure shopping experience and give our residents the confidence to get back onto the high streets and get the cash registers in our local businesses ringing again. Shopping may take longer so we will extend the free time in our car parks and together, we will beat the crisis and reboot our local economies, one business and one job at a time.”