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Centurion
March 2021 issue

Ensuring you have a safe return to our high streets after lockdown

We are working with a range of partners, including the Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID), to ensure anyone coming to our town centre once the national lockdown restrictions are lifted can do so in confidence.

As well as giving those visiting the town centre and the other main centres across the borough peace of mind that they can do so safely, we are committed to helping the borough’s businesses bounce back from the impact of the lockdown as quickly as possible.

Among the initiatives being developed are a 30-second TV advert showcasing changes made in the high street to ensure residents and visitors can be safely welcomed back; videos promoting safety measures in neighbourhood shopping areas in the borough such as Dedham, Wivenhoe, Tiptree and West Mersea; interactive signage; and support for local businesses to ensure they have the appropriate safety measures in place.

Much of this activity is being funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - Reopening High Streets Safely Fund. This fund is providing £50 million to councils across England to support the safe reopening of high streets and other commercial areas. We can claim up to £174,002 by June to support our work.

We are building on measures introduced after the first lockdown restrictions were eased, including hand sanitiser stations, increased street cleaning, and the presence of Covid Marshalls, Neighbourhood Wardens and BID ambassadors in the town.

These steps will aim to build on the exceptional level of compliance with the safety guidance shown by Colchester residents and workers already. In December, a mystery shopper programme, run by market research company Storecheckers, found Colchester came second out of 15 locations with just one person out of 265 observed found not wearing a mask inside a shop.

The research took place in areas across the country, with the use of venues such as book shops, banks, pharmacies and phone shops observed. Colchester also had the joint highest Covid safety perception ratings, achieving a near perfect 4.9 out of 5.

Page last reviewed: 26 February 2021

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