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Picture shows Cllr Simon Tagg

Newcastle's retailers make a welcome return

As 15 June fast approaches, the majority of town centre retailers are preparing to open their doors and welcome back customers using a framework of strict rules and sensible guidance for shoppers to follow.

The town’s market was one of the first town centre attractions to open last Friday and customers seemed happy to stick to the guidance set out in clear signage in the area.

The Leader of the Council, Simon Tagg, said: “Last weekend saw the welcome return of the outdoor market traders and shoppers were really pleased to see them.

“On both Friday and Saturday there were significant queues at most of the stalls with customers following the guidance and getting back to buying fresh, local produce and household goods in the town centre once again.

“Many people have commented that the experience of buying online simply isn’t the same and it is clear that people were glad to be out and about, exchanging conversation with the traders and other shoppers while practicing social distancing to protect their families and loved ones.”

Most of the general guidance for shoppers is what people have been used to at supermarkets and their local shop during the lockdown. The practice of self-distancing and use of hand sanitisers are the new ‘normal’.

The town centre BID has been coordinating advice and practical help for retailers throughout the lockdown and has helped some prepare for the opening next week.

Amy Williams, the Manager of the BID, said: “Over the past few weeks the BID has been working hard to ensure that businesses have access to the information they need to assist them with dealing with the crisis.  We have kept in touch with our stakeholders via e-bulletins and updated the BID website regularly with the latest information around business support. 

“One of the first projects we have undertaken is to provide up to 200 re-opening kits for business which include, face coverings, floor graphics, hand sanitiser and posters to enforce the social distancing messaging. We have also had banners and window vinyl’s installed to remind people around the Governments messaging for using the town which we hope will go some way to encouraging people to use the local high street in the coming weeks”

Apart form the Midway, all Council car parks are open. The Council would encourage users to pay for parking, however, it will not enforce charges until early July in a bid to further support businesses in the town centre.


Last updated 11 June 2020

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