North Somerset Council receives £200k funding to revive district high streets

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 June 2020

Weston High Street in March.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Weston High Street in March. Picture: MARK ATHERTON


Almost £200,000 worth of government funding will be invested into safe trading practices for businesses in high streets and other retail areas.

North Somerset Councillor Mark Canniford.

Picture: MARK ATHERTONNorth Somerset Councillor Mark Canniford. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

North Somerset Council is working with parish councils, Weston BID and other key stakeholders to implement the measures across the district as retailers are allowed to open for the first time
since the outbreak of Covid-19.

Planned changes will affect Meadow Street and Waterloo Street in Weston to see new measures put in place to allow for social-distancing, and parking spaces will be allocated to customers to allow for this.

The measures will be regularly assessed to ensure consumers and businesses are able to trade in a ‘safe and comfortable environment’.

Weston High Street in March.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONWeston High Street in March. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The unitary authority will also be encouraging shared spaces for pedestrians and cyclists, and will also look into long-term solutions about how the increase in exercise over lockdown can be utilised as part of town centre shopping to support local businesses and the economy.

Mark Canniford, executive member for business, economy and employment at North Somerset Council, said: “It’s vitally important that we get our high streets trading again as part of the economic recovery of North Somerset.

“The pressures businesses are facing is substantial and we’re doing a number of things to support them.

Cllr Mike Bell.Cllr Mike Bell.

“We must also make sure that these spaces are safe, to keep customer confidence high and increase the footfall numbers to our local businesses.”

He added that the council’s ideas may seem ‘very European’, and the government’s money to help revive high street stores in the district is welcomed, as businesses will need ‘a considerable amount of help’ over the coming months.

In a North Somerset Council executive meeting, the unitary authority’s deputy leader Mike Bell added that the council is open to ideas about bringing more people into high streets, as it is ‘committed to trying to support the economic recovery of North Somerset’.

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