High Streets reopen across Torridge

Mill Street in Bideford on Monday, April 12, as restrictions on shops are lifted

Mill Street in Bideford on Monday, April 12, as restrictions on shops are lifted - Credit: Joseph Bulmer

High Streets across Torridge have reopened this week, thanks to much hard work from the district council. 

Locals are being encouraged to shop local now many shops and businesses have reopened following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions across the UK. 

Torridge District Council is now working with town and parish councils to coordinate a plan for life after lockdown. 

Head of Communities and Place at Torridge District Council, Sean Kearney, said: “It’s fantastic to have reached the next milestone in opening up the economy in Torridge, which so many businesses across the district have been eagerly waiting for. During the lockdown the Council have been supporting businesses by ensuring they were kept informed of any entitlement to government grants and other funding routes and making sure these were paid quickly, achieving some of the fastest turnaround times in the country. 

“We have also encouraged an online #ShopLocal message along with advising businesses on how to prepare for rolling out plans to physically welcome back customers from today onwards. This included the distribution of comprehensive support packs to hospitality and close contact businesses in recent weeks along with the streamlining of processes to assist expansion, such as applications for pavement licences, so that these could be issued quickly. 

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Further campaign funding will be available from the Welcome Back fund which recognises how hard, predominately rural, coastal areas, such as ours have been hit economically. We are already working with Town Councils and businesses to determine what the focus for future campaigns and initiatives should be so that this achieves the best possible outcomes for our communities and businesses. I’m sure that the tremendous Torridge team spirit and cooperation which kept the spread of the virus in check during the pandemic will now translate into us all rallying enthusiastically to a call to spend and shop locally.” 

He added: “While we need to remain vigilant and continue to follow safety guidelines the anticipated influx of tourists this summer should also give businesses a very welcome additional boost.” 

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