City centre ready to welcome back shoppers

Peterborough City Centre is ready to begin welcoming back shoppers from Monday 15 June 2020, with an emphasis on ‘shopping local’ following a relaxation of the Government’s Covid-19 lockdown, with more open-air cafés, pubs and restaurants to follow in the summer.

From Monday, non-essential shops will begin re-opening their doors to try and recoup lost profits over the past 12 weeks. They are now completing the recommended Government Covid-19 risk assessment and putting the final touches to their stores, with one-way systems, closed changing rooms, counter screens and a raft of new measures to ensure the safety of both staff and customers.

It is expected that bars and restaurants will follow suit in July with plans to allow many to spill out onto the pavements and areas like Cathedral Square and the Guild Hall to maximise footfall while allowing social distancing to still take place.

Find out more about the Be Smart, Stay Apart advice for shoppers

All measures are being coordinated by the Peterborough Economic Recovery Programme (PERP), a partnership comprising of Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Peterborough Positive, Opportunity Peterborough and large outlets like Queensgate Shopping Centre. The PERP has also consulted with Disability Peterborough and the city’s Safer Off the Streets partnership.

Together, the PERP has reached out to help city businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19, giving support and guidance on how to get their businesses started again. In the future, it will look to help these businesses build back stronger and to support independents in moving towards an additional e-commence model to future proof their business.

The measures, which aim to protect both shoppers and businesses from Covid-19, have been made possible thanks to the Government’s Re-Opening High Streets Safely Fund, from which it will be possible for the city council to claim back £181,500.

Councillor Marco Cereste, cabinet member for waste, street scene and the environment at Peterborough City Council, said: “We understand that some of residents may be eager to get some much-needed retail therapy, while others will be a bit more cautious and about venturing out. That’s why we want to give people all the information they need to know before they plan their visit, including what to expect and what the city is doing to help keep them safe.

“In return, we’re asking shoppers to take notice of the social distancing signage, to be polite and courteous to each other and to our volunteer marshals, who are giving up their own time to help keep you safe.”

Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said: “The re-opening of non-essential shops from Monday is good news for our city centre and the shops within it, many of which have felt the impact of a loss of trade for many weeks.

“We are fortunate in Peterborough, as we know our economy is strong and our High Street has a profitable retail offering. We’ve been working closely with businesses over the past week to ensure they are supported and prepared for re-opening and have the tools and skills to be able to do this confidently. It is imperative that we do whatever we can to kick-start trade in a safe and controlled way.”

Further information on the changes that are being planned is available at www.peterborough.gov.uk/besmartstayapart