Please be aware that as local retailers and other high street businesses prepare to re-open over the coming days and weeks, we are tomorrow launching our “We’re Back” campaign. This campaign is targeted at both residents and businesses and includes practical guidance, support and interventions to allow the District’s high streets and centres to “re-open” in a way that is both safe for shoppers and workers and which helps to support the local economic recovery.
This campaign is being supported by the Re-opening High Streets Safely fund that has been made available by Government. This grant is aimed at both enabling effective communication to businesses and residents, and helping to fund any physical changes needed to make centres safe.
The initial programme of work has included:
• An information pack being distributed to high street businesses and other retailers which includes information on the support available to them, a branded risk assessment, branded social distancing poster and branded window sticker
• A website (www.weareback.co.uk) which will provide specific support and guidance to both businesses and residents on how they can help us to re-open the high streets safely. This website will be continuously updated as more guidance is released and our own plans develop
• Initial ‘correx’ public safety signage being prepared to encourage safe shopping behaviours and highlight suggested pedestrian routes
The further short-term programme includes:
• Regular branded social media posts providing businesses and residents with specific guidance and advice on how they can help us to re-open the high streets safely
• Publication of maps for each centre with key facilities, suggested pedestrian routes and any physical changes highlighted
• More detailed/targeted signage to be displayed in high streets as more becomes known about ‘hotspots’ and problem areas
• More detailed/targeted guidance as more becomes known about the timetable for other types of business to re-open
The above programme has been informed by engagement with Rochford, Rayleigh and Hockley Parish/Town Councils, the 3 Chambers of Trade, Essex County Council and external stakeholders via the Safety Advisory Group. We have also asked all these organisations to advise us of any issues or opportunities that arise in their area as we learn more about how our centres will function under social distancing rules.
We have also engaged with Essex County Council and partners of the Safety Advisory Group to consider longer-term traffic management options, including road closures, temporary speed restrictions and parking suspension. We will provide updates as we receive more information on what is possible and when.
The Economic Development team at Rochford District Council is also very happy to advise local businesses of what support is available to them and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01702 318060