High street traders welcome council support for their reopening

Shop owners have welcomed social distancing support packs provided by South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) as they open after the lockdown.

Published: Friday, 19th June 2020

On Tuesday, 16 June two shops opened for the first time in Towcester, a brand-new bridal shop and a lingerie shop which has relocated from elsewhere in the town.

Cllr Stephen Clarke, SNC’s portfolio holder for growth and regeneration visited Towcester town centre to hand over support packs which include posters and floor decals to remind customers to remain socially distanced.

Sisters Michelle Coleman and Maria Browne opened the Silver Sixpence Bridal shop in Whittons Lane.

Michelle said: “We’ve been trading for five years but we’ve just moved to Towcester. We love what we do, and we love sharing special moments with brides to be.

“It’s just very exciting to be finally open.

“The support we’ve had from the council has been really useful.  The information is really clear and has a lot of useful steps and tips to make sure we are adhering to all the government guidelines. Everything we need for people to shop with us safely.”

Christine Hedges owner of Creations of the Heart lingerie has moved from Park Street in Towcester to a unit on the corner of Whittons Lane and Watling Street.

Christine said: “I had a lady come in who said she always goes to Buckingham, but she bought two items and said she’d never go anywhere else again.

“The guidance has been brilliant with information on how to handle products and everything. And if it doesn’t contain the information I need, it had links to where I could find it.”

Cllr Clarke said: “As a council we can provide posters and decals which comply with government guidelines to assist local non-essential businesses re-open after lockdown.

“Shoppers will be understandably cautious, we hope these measures will give them the confidence that they can go to shops and remain safe and get the South Northants economy back up and running.”

SNC has been allocated a fund of £83,000 to support the reopening of businesses by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

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Notes:

European Regional Development Fund

The project could receive up to £83,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding