The government has announced a new £50m fund to help councils safely reopen their high streets as coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease.
Yesterday (May 25), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that non-essential retail shops will be allowed to reopen from Monday June 15, following nearly two months of closure.
Councils will be able to apply for funding so they can introduce safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers.
Councils will also be able to use this money to develop local marketing campaigns to explain the changes to the public and reassure them that their high streets and other commercial areas are safe.
The government has published COVID-secure guidelines for people work in or run shops, branches, and stores. This guidance supports shops that are currently open, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, but will also be useful for those in non-essential retail to consider now for when they are allowed to open.
The £50m comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
High Streets Minister Simon Clarke MP said: ‘As we begin to slowly return to normality, the re-opening our high streets will be key to kick-starting our economic recovery.
‘Levelling up the regions and supporting our high streets has always been central to the mission of this government.
‘Many businesses have already introduced creative ways of trading such as contactless collection or taking orders by instant messaging and shows that they are ready for the challenges ahead.
‘That’s why we are providing an extra £50m for councils to support a range of safety measures that will help get these businesses back on track and ensure that people can enjoy their time visiting their local high street safely again.’
Photo Credit – Pixabay