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Residents reminded that Cornwall’s high streets remain safely open for essential shopping

When you head out for essential goods and services during this second lockdown period, it is worth remembering that many of the small independent stores in your local neighbourhood remain open.

These include greengrocers, chemists, butchers, bakers, off licences and takeaway food outlets or that offer click and collect or online services.

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The future of our local economy is reliant on the support we give them during this difficult time.

To help their customers feel reassured that everything possible is being done to keep them Covid-safe when they need access to essential goods and services, Cornwall Council has been working with local councils to assist those stores that are able to remain open.

Some of the many measures put in place include pavement, floor signage and posters for social distancing reminders, hand sanitiser stations, more frequent cleaning and Covid-certification.

These measures are supported by funding from a grant of £152,000 awarded to Cornwall Council from the Government’s emergency active travel fund and £509,000 of support to towns for temporary public realm measures from the European Regional Development Fund’s Reopening High Street Safely Fund.

The Council was initially awarded European Development Funding to help towns across Cornwall re-open their high streets safely after the country’s initial lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic was eased back in June. 

Twenty five towns applied for Phase 1 funding to help them to put in place a number of safety measures over the peak summer months, many of which have remained in place.

Town and parish councils are now being given the opportunity to apply for more money under the two final phases of the Reopening of High Streets Safely Fund(RHSSF).

This will continue to help their high streets and other commercial areas provide Covid-safe trading environments for businesses and customers through to the end of March 2021, allowing them to forward plan the resources they need all the way through to Easter.

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for the economy, Tim Dwelly, confirms there remains a strong commitment in helping high street businesses throughout Cornwall. At the present time, this means ensuring those providing essential services have what they need to be as Covid-safe as possible.

“It’s critical that we all work together in supporting our economy to recover safely and sustainably. The additional limited EU funding will allow councils to extend and reinstate some of the measures they had in place over the summer months.

“This will be especially important during what is hoped will be a busy shopping period in the run up to Christmas, and the three months of trading immediately prior to Easter next year. 

“During this time, we will continue to support our towns to help them implement the measures they feel will work best and which fall within the RHSSF guidelines.  As it is EU money, it does come with certain rules for spending and we will be managing the process closely to make sure councils can successfully recover as much of their agreed allocation as is possible.”

Cornwall Chamber of Commerce CEO, Kim Conchie says: “Cornwall’s businesses are embedded in our communities and form a rich part of life here. Each of us has a role to play in helping them prosper by using them whenever we can. Many of the essential businesses we love are making purchases of great Cornish products much easier with Click & Collect, home delivery and extended opening hours. So let’s make sure we respond at this crucial time of year and Buy Local!”

Councillor Dwelly adds: “I’d like to again thank everyone for their efforts in doing everything possible to limit the spread of Coronavirus on our high streets.  As footfall hopefully has the opportunity to increase as we approach Christmas, and then Easter, I trust our residents will be reassured by the efforts that are being made to make them feel comfortable and stay Covid-safe while shopping and supporting their local independent businesses.”

The Cornwall Development Company has been commissioned to manage the RHSS Fund. 

Stroy created on 20 November