As restrictions begin to be lifted by central government, a number of shops will be reopening later this month. The council has been working on its recovery phase of the coronavirus response for two months, including preparing to make town centres safe and secure spaces.
As the council begins stepping up these plans for the borough’s high streets and shopping areas, a number of partners are being consulted in preparation. Andover’s Business Improvement District, who have been liaising with retailers, is helping the authority with plans including signage, markings and hygiene facilities.
The government has made funds available to assist councils to help put these measures in place in urban spaces and town centres, subject to meeting a number of criteria.
Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Phil North, said:
As we find the restrictions lifted more by central government over the coming weeks, we need to ensure that we’re prepared for high streets to become more populated places.
We’re keen to continue working with our partners to make sure that residents, visitors and shoppers feel safe and comfortable in using our town centres as we slowly get back to enjoying our public spaces. We are working closely with the BID, Hampshire County Council and the Chantry Centre, to ensure Andover has sufficient hygiene facilities and conforms to the government’s social distancing guidelines.”
Steve Godwin, Andover BID Manager, said:
The BID has been supporting town centre businesses throughout the pandemic with many taking advantage of a free professional risk assessment to ensure that their business if fully compliant to meet COVID-10 restrictions and we have provided this through local company, Saxon Safety.
We are delighted to be working with Test Valley Borough Council as restrictions start to life in ensuring that our attractive town centre is a safe place for people to come back into and that signage and social distancing is in place.