Creating safe and welcoming high streets

Preparations are underway to create safe and welcoming shopping areas in towns and villages across Charnwood.

Charnwood Borough Council is working with businesses and Love Loughborough to help high streets get ready to trade safely as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.

The Council will be using floor graphics where pavements are wide enough, signage and barriers in Loughborough town centre to help visitors and businesses adhere to social distancing guidance, particularly around queueing.

It is also supporting high streets and shopping areas across the borough by installing floor graphics where appropriate and Love Loughborough will be able to advise businesses on how to protect customers and employees inside their premises.

It comes as Loughborough Market prepares to reopen with a limited number of stalls.

Cllr Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough: “People’s health and wellbeing is our top priority and we completely support the Government’s advice and encourage people to stay at home if they can. However, the Government is also clear that more businesses can open and that means we need to take a sensible and pragmatic approach and work with local businesses and others to create safe shopping areas. We have looked carefully at Loughborough town centre at ways to help manage growing numbers of visitors. Businesses also have a responsibility and that’s why we are working with them, and Love Loughborough, to support them as best we can. We may need to change and adapt some of the measures we have introduced but we’re on a learning curve as much as anyone else as these are unprecedented times.
I would like to stress this is not just about Loughborough town centre and that’s why we have contacted town and parish councils to work with them in supporting local businesses and shopping areas across the borough. We have also commissioned Love Loughborough to offer business support in towns and villages across Charnwood. This is all part of our recovery strategy as we are committed to working with partners, stakeholders, businesses and our communities to build a stronger future, together.”

Loughborough Market is due to resume on Thursday 28th May. There will be a limited number of traders, between 12 and 15, selling perishable goods. This is in line with government advice. The stalls will be spaced apart in Market Place to give traders and shoppers plenty of room to observe social distancing.

The market was suspended at the end of March to support the Government’s stay at home message.

Lisa Brown, Love Loughborough BID Manager, said: “We are all facing uncertain times and many businesses are having to adapt and change how they trade to implement the governments safety guidelines. The BID team are all working 24/7 to provide assistance and support for Loughborough and Charnwood’s businesses to enable them to trade safely, ensuring that both their customers and employees are safeguarded. Our Trading Safely campaign will go live on Tuesday (May 26) to not only help businesses get up and running again, but to also entrust confidence for customers when they visit businesses in Charnwood and Loughborough.”

The Trading Safely campaign will provide a safety guidance leaflet for businesses for keeping both their customers and their staff safe. The campaign will also include a free template for businesses for social distancing floor stickers or an opportunity to purchase a supply alongside some essential PPE equipment. Visit the Love Loughborough website

The BID Ambassador will be reinstated into Loughborough town centre from June 1 to assist with any town centre business issues.

The Council is regularly updating its website with information for businesses. Visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/cvbusiness.