Euro fund to support plans for safe opening of shops

Lewes District Council is working with partners including local chambers of commerce to implement measures for the safe reopening of local shopping areas.

The council received over £90,000 from the European Regional Development Fund and is now planning on how best to encourage social distancing, safe queuing and accessibility for all shoppers in local high streets.

The plan will also look to rebuild confidence amongst traders and visitors to shops.

Councillor Zoe Nicholson( pictured ), Leader of Lewes District Council, said: “Our challenge is to target this limited pot of money on adjustments in the high street that will provide the safer shopping experience we need.

“We are in the process of consulting with businesses, parish and town councils and access groups to finalise where the funding will be focused.”

Measures under consideration include:

  • Signage and street markings to encourage social distancing and safe queuing
  • The availability of hand sanitiser
  • Marketing campaign to boost confidence and promote a “shop local” message
  • Steps to ensure inclusivity for people with disabilities
  • Analysis of footfall in narrow streets and re-routing options

Councillor Nicholson added: “We will do everything possible to help our traders follow the government guidance and make the shopping experience as safe as possible. However, the on-going coronavirus pandemic means that there is a duty on us all to exercise caution and common sense when we leave our homes.”