April 12 reopening: Weston shops preparing for spending spree

Weston High Street, just before lockdown. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Weston businesses are hoping for a spending spree on April 12. - Credit: Archant

Weston businesses are optimistic that a summer spending spree is imminent ahead of the reopening of non-essential retail stores on April 12.

In accordance with the UK Government's lockdown roadmap, non-essential stores will be allowed to resume trading from Monday but 'should only be visited alone or with household groups'.

A recent survey carried out by the Mercury suggested the majority of residents were eager to visit the town's high street and this sentiment is shared by North Somerset Council's executive member for the economy.

MORE: Just over half followed all lockdown rules, survey reveals

Cllr Mark Canniford said: "The council is offering as much support as it can for businesses to have a successful reopening and will help with licensing for outdoor seating and other arrangements.

"Businesses seem keen to reopen and they deserve all they can get after such a hard year. I have held off on buying items online because I want to show support to the local businesses and I hope a spending spree is coming."

North Somerset Councillor Mark Canniford.Picture: MARK ATHERTON

North Somerset Councillor Mark Canniford.Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

Cllr Canniford also highlighted long-standing family store, Walker & Ling as a shining example of a business that has seized lockdown as an opportunity to rejuvenate.

More: 'Bright future' for Weston high street.

The store has been operating in Weston for close to 120 years and its owner, Sam Walker has revealed that its new storefront will be completed soon and other renovations have been made.

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Mr Walker said: "The front has taken a little longer than expected but will be finished soon and our new logo and tiles will be on show come April 12.

"It feels as though we are the last man standing on the high street. We have been here so long and we are desperate to make the most of the situation and hope people come out to support businesses."

Walker and Ling boss Sam Walker. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Walker and Ling boss Sam Walker. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

Another business hoping for a spending spree is Meadow Street's Outdoor & Active, whose owner believes it can capitalise on a surge in outdoor activity over lockdown.

Paul Batts, who is also the chairman for Weston Business Improvement District (BID) said: "Like many others, we have been desperate to reopen and get some money in the accounts.

Paul Batts believes areas such as Orchard Meadows will play important roles in Weston town centre. P

Paul Batts believes areas such as Orchard Meadows will play important roles in Weston town centre. Picture: Mark Atherton - Credit: Archant

"During lockdown, we were classed as non-essential and made to close while the government encouraged everyone to go outdoors and exercise. Now we are open and I believe the town will have a lot of shoppers soon.

"People will want to be outdoors again and the lower Covid numbers and vaccine rollout should encourage residents."

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