Town centre reopening information
Covid-19 lockdown recovery information
This page contains information on how businesses in the Harborough District will start to re-open from 15 June 2020. We will update the information frequently to reflect new Government guidance.
Reopening High Streets Safely Fund
Councils across England are to share £50m of additional funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to support the safe reopening of high streets and other commercial areas. The money will allow local authorities in England to put in place additional measures to establish a safe trading environment for businesses and customers, particularly in high streets, through measures that extend to the end of March 2021. This funding comes on top of the Government’s comprehensive package of support for business and workers during the economic emergency.
The Fund will provide councils with additional funding to support their business communities with measures that enable safe trading in public places. The Fund will particularly focus on our high streets, as well as other public places that are at the heart of towns and cities gearing up to reopen as safe, welcoming spaces. The Fund will support 4 main strands of activity:
- Support to develop an action plan for how the local authority may begin to safely reopen their local economies.
- Communications and public information activity to ensure that reopening of local economies can be managed successfully and safely:
- Business-facing awareness raising activities to ensure that reopening of local economies can be managed successfully and safely.
- Temporary public realm changes to ensure that reopening of local economies can be managed successfully and safely.
Harborough District Council will be using the Fund for some of the strands of activity set out above. Details will be provided here when available.
Shopping, queues and social distancing
Visitors to town centres across the Harborough District will see an increased use of pavement guidelines outside shops, showing where to queue. Shops will continue to limit the number of shoppers inside, depending on the size of the shop. Space available for queueing will also vary. Please be patient, especially at busy times.
A team of on-street council staff - High Street Helpers - will be on hand to assist with any questions.
Road closures and parking suspension
As part of the gradual reopening of town and village centres, Harborough District Council has taken steps to help create a safe environment for businesses and customers while at the same time ensuring that the impact on residents is minimised. The measures introduced provide more pedestrian space, helping to maintain social distancing and supporting local businesses to trade safely and successfully in line with the Government’s recovery timetable.
To create this safer pedestrian environment, the following temporary measures were introduced from 15th June 2020:
- Closure to traffic of Adam and Eve Street between St Mary’s Road and the junction with Factory Lane (i.e. the access road next to Harborough Theatre) and the suspension of the on-street parking.
- Introduction of two-way traffic along the section of Church Square running from the junction with Roman Way to Factory Lane and the suspension of the on-street parking along this section of Church Square. Blue Badge parking bays remain.
- Closure of Church Street between High Street and Church Square and suspension of on-street parking. No access from King’s Road on to Church Street.
- Suspension of on-street parking on parts of High Street and Coventry Road.
- Suspension of on-street parking on Church St to enable social distancing and safe queueing.
- Suspension of on-street parking on part of High Street up to Blue Badge parking bay which remains.
- Introduction of advisory 20mph speed limit on High Street.
Diversion routes for all road closures will be in place. It is not known at present how long these measures will be needed.
The Council is listening to all businesses and continuing to monitor and review road closures on a weekly basis.
If you have any comments on the road closures please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In line with businesses opening, Harborough District Council will look to re-introduce car parking charges at all Council-owned car parks across the Harborough District, over the coming weeks, and details will be shared publicly once a date is agreed. Parking restrictions continue to apply at on-street locations in town centres.
Bus operators - Covid-19 advice
Bus operators, providing services within the Harborough District, have issued comprehensive Covid-19 advice. Anyone who needs to travel by bus should visit the appropriate operator’s website for up to date guidance:
- Centrebus: https://www.centrebus.info/news/covid-19-services-update/
- Arriva Midlands: https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/coronavirus/
Hand sanitiser stations
Shops and businesses that have remained open during the lockdown have been supplying customers with hand sanitiser. During the recovery, hand sanitiser stations will be available in town centres and large public spaces.
Businesses have an opportunity to apply for a pavement licence if, for example, they wish to set up tables outside their premises - but they must be able to meet the criteria.
Pavement licence applications will be processed within 14 days, which is the time specified in the legislation. The Council has made a decision to waive the fee for the application.
You will need to apply for a pavement cafe licence if you wish to place furniture, e.g. tables and chairs, on the public highway to sell or consume food or drink.
We can only consider applications for an area that is part of the maintained highway within Harborough district.
Approval is not automatic and you must not place any furniture or displays on the highway until a licence has been issued.
Leicestershire Business Recovery Fund
The new Leicestershire Business Recovery Fund for small businesses within the county aims to help businesses get back on their feet.
The fund provides support for rural businesses (including tourism, agriculture and creative industries) and independent retail businesses, to enable them to adapt (see item above for example) and overcome the impacts they may have faced or are still facing, as a result of COVID-19.
The grant fund is open with £2k to £10k available towards your project.
For guidance and to apply visit www.oakleaves.org.uk/leicestershire-business-recovery-fund.html