Shoppers are being encouraged to rediscover their local high street safely and give a boost to local businesses as Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole welcome people back.
With non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality and hairdressers in town centres and highstreets open from today, Monday 12 April, BCP Council is launching a campaign to reassure people that it is safe to shop and enjoy dining in the outside spaces of restaurants and cafes, but also reminds people of their personal responsibilities of wearing masks, keeping distance, washing hands and if meeting other people, choosing outdoors – ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’.
Residents will see adverts spring up across the three towns as well as online and on local radio, reminding them what’s on offer in their area, aiming to remind us all what we may have missed about our local high streets, and hoping to tempt us back to visit. These will be on buses and in shops themselves, all funded by a Reopening High Streets Safely grant from the European Regional Development Fund, allocated to BCP Council by the government.
Jon Weaver, BCP Council Lead for ‘Rediscover Safely’ said:
“We’re working with our partners at the Poole And Bournemouth BIDs, Christchurch Chamber of Trade & Commerce and local businesses to encourage people back.
“Our focus has been to invigorate the town centres of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and encourage people to not forget local businesses and high street shops. We’re confident that residents are ready to ‘Rediscover Safely’ and local businesses look forward to welcoming them back.”
In readiness for the reopening of high streets the council has been working with the local business community to make sure plans are in place to welcome people back safely.
Visitors to Poole will see additional planters, vibrant floor vinyls and 70 welcome flags celebrating business and heritage, thanks to the Poole BID working in partnership with the Council as part of the Heritage Action Zone programme.
Jacqui Rock, Poole BID Manager said:
“We are really excited about welcoming our members and visitors back to our town. It has been a very challenging time for the business community and so in support of this we have put in place a number of street cleansing and street dressing initiatives for those venturing out, in order for them to rediscover the shops and all the attractions of historic Poole.”
In Bournemouth, empty shop units are being fitted with colourful ‘Rediscover Safely’ window vinyls, including at Beales, thanks to a contribution from Bournemouth Town Centre BID. Deep cleaning programmes and repainting of street furniture have also been completed.
Paul Kinvig, of Bournemouth Town Centre BID said:
“This project of encouraging residents and visitors to rediscover our town centre is a great example of partnership working in action. It’s great to see the local authority take the lead on this along with the town centre BIDs in supporting businesses in their reopening and re-emerging strategy. Working together in this way has to be the way forward in encouraging the success of those businesses who have suffered so much in the last twelve months.”
As part of the council’s cleaner, greener, safer campaign teams have been working hard to brighten and refresh highstreets across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, with deep cleaning programmes being undertaken across all three towns. Additional mini-sweepers are out and about, including in Christchurch. New and increased bins have been installed, including in Boscombe, Highcliffe and the Quomps.
Andrew Barfield, President of Christchurch Chamber of Trade & Commerce Said:
“Christchurch businesses are ready and prepared to welcome back customers and work with them to provide a safe and enjoyable shopping or dining experience. The chamber has enjoyed working strategically on behalf of their members with BCP council to assist in the safe reopening.”
Already 27 new pavement licence applications have been granted across the three towns giving restaurants and cafés the opportunity to use outside space for seating and tables. Businesses applying to extend their existing outdoor seating capacity have also been reviewed and checked against safety guidance.