By Leah Conway
On Monday 12 April, town centres opened across Kirklees. Businesses that have been closed for over three months of COVID-19 restrictions opened their doors to the public.
Since the January lockdown, only essential shops could open. However, as the roadmap out of lockdown continues, cafes, bars, restaurants, non-essential retail, hair and beauty, and other businesses are welcoming customers back.
What’s going on in Kirklees?
Kirklees Council has been supporting local businesses, and town centres open safely this week. Also, the council has launched a multi-media campaign to encourage the public to support their local town centre businesses over the coming months.
Adverts featuring 14 local businesses will appear on outdoor media, radio, streaming services, social media and search engines.
For the first time, the council will work with local influencers to reach a younger audience.
This campaign is supported by £270,000 from the Reopening High Street Safely Fund, which is part of the European Development Regional Fund will last for a month starting on 12 April.
Support for town centres
There will also be a supportive presence in town centres with Huddersfield’s six new town centre support officers. Their role is to provide support and guidance.
The council have also made changes to streets to make it easier for people to social distance themselves.
McCauley Street, New Street and King street Marquees
The Council are also putting up pop up hospitality spaces to support businesses offering takeaways and outdoor dining. People who buy food and drink from local businesses will be able to use the pop-up marquee space to eat.
The marquees will be COVID-19 safe with face covering, hand sanitisation and social distancing.
The marquees will be managed by Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival organisers, Huddersfield Live, on behalf of the council.
“Help local businesses recover.”
David Shepherd, Strategic Director for Growth & Regeneration said: “We know that local businesses have struggled over the last year and we want to make sure that we do everything we can to welcome back people into our town centres safely.
“As we make our way through the government’s roadmap, we will need to help local businesses recover. The measures we have put in place will go some way to both reassuring people that it is safe to return and removing some of the barriers that the Yorkshire climate brings to socialising outdoors.
“Our hospitality areas will be popping up in other towns over the coming weeks, so be sure to keep an eye on our website for the latest information.”