Weston’s shops ready to open again following easing of lockdown

PUBLISHED: 06:55 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:19 11 June 2020

Meadow Street, Weston.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Meadow Street, Weston. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Shops and businesses across Weston are prepared to reopen their doors to customers later this week.

St James Street, Weston.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONSt James Street, Weston. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

As lockdown restrictions are eased, the government has said all shops can reopen from Monday, having been closed since March.

Paul Batts, owner of Outdoors & Active, said: “We have put distancing lines on the shop floor, a screen up behind the till and will only allow one customer inside at all times to start with and see how it progresses.

“It has been a difficult three months, the government funding has been vital, whether it be grants or furlough.

“The High Street has lost regular names so independent areas such as Grove Village and Orchard Meadows will be even more important and hopefully more people will start supporting these areas to help improve the local economy post Covid-19.

High Street, Weston.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONHigh Street, Weston. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

“Independent shops will be the lifeblood of Weston going forward.”

At the Sovereign Shopping Centre, Savers Wilko’s, Grape Tree, Holland and Barrett and Burger King had reopened when the Mercury went to press.

High Streets in the South West have been handed a share of £5million through the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund to support recovery.

The money will also go towards a range of practical safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers.

High Street, Weston.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONHigh Street, Weston. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Sam Walker, manager of Walker & Ling in High Street, said: “We are adhering to the Government guidelines which explain comprehensively how to reopen safely. We have moved most of our womenswear department to the ground floor and entirely changed the layout in order to ensure two metre spacings and comply with social distancing.

“We have installed sneeze guards on every till, and we will clean and reclean the store regularly. We will limit the number of customers in the store to 25 to start with.

“Of course it has put a great strain on the business, but thankfully, with the support of the Government furlough scheme, we have been able to hibernate safely through it.

“The team have been so understanding and supportive, and I am really looking forward to getting back to work and bringing the business back to life.”


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