We’re being urged to shop local but safely as Peterborough city centre prepares to re-open for shoppers next week and with plans to allow more al fresco dining to support cafés and restaurants in the summer.
From Monday (June 15), non-essential shops will begin re-opening their doors with extra safety measures in place while more open-air cafés, pubs and restaurants are hoping to follow in July.
To allow the shops to open you’ll find one-way systems, closed changing rooms, counter screens and a raft of new measures to ensure the safety of both staff and customers.
Meanwhile measures to support bars and restaurants include plans to allow many to spill out onto the pavements and areas like Cathedral Square and the Guildhall to maximise footfall while ensuring we keep up social distancing.
The measures, which aim to protect both shoppers and businesses from Covid-19, have been made possible thanks to the Government’s Re-Opening High Streets Safely Fund, from which it will be possible for the city council to claim back £181,500.
Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said: “The re-opening of non-essential shops from Monday is good news for our city centre and the shops within it, many of which have felt the impact of a loss of trade for many weeks.
“We are fortunate in Peterborough, as we know our economy is strong and our High Street has a profitable retail offering. We’ve been working closely with businesses over the past week to ensure they are supported and prepared for re-opening and have the tools and skills to be able to do this confidently. It is imperative that we do whatever we can to kick-start trade in a safe and controlled way.”
The re-opening has been coordinated by the Peterborough Economic Recovery Programme (PERP), a partnership comprising of Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Peterborough Positive, Opportunity Peterborough and large outlets like Queensgate Shopping Centre. The PERP has also consulted with Disability Peterborough and the city’s Safer Off the Streets partnership.
Together, the PERP has reached out to help city businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19, giving support and guidance on how to get their businesses started again. In the future, it will look to help these businesses build back stronger and to support independents in moving towards an additional e-commence model to future proof their business.
Councillor Marco Cereste, cabinet member for waste, street scene and the environment at Peterborough City Council, said: “We understand that some residents may be eager to get some much-needed retail therapy, while others will be a bit more cautious about venturing out. That’s why we want to give people all the information they need to know before they plan their visit, including what to expect and what the city is doing to help keep them safe.
“In return, we’re asking shoppers to take notice of the social distancing signage, to be polite and courteous to each other and to our volunteer marshals, who are giving up their own time to help keep you safe.”
Detailed advice for shoppers and a full list of measures that are being taken to ensure safety is available on the council’s website www.peterborough.gov.uk/besmartstayapart