Westgate Town Council members have been out today (June 13) putting up temporary social distancing signs in preparation for businesses reopening on Monday (June 15).
Town and parish councils across the isle are supporting Thanet council by helping to put the signs in place as part of the first phase of alterations to make High Streets and seafronts covid secure.
Based on criteria set out by the Government, Thanet council is working with key partners including business representative organisations, to deliver practical support for local businesses.
A dedicated information page for businesses is available on the council’s website or by contacting the council’s support line on 01843 577330 from Monday. Businesses can also contact the Kent and Medway Growth Hub for guidance.
The support includes high street signage, making direct contact with businesses, a dedicated webpage and downloadable materials that highlight social distancing and navigating public spaces. There is also an information campaign for the public.
The focus of the temporary changes will initially be the high footfall locations listed below, with a phased approach as more businesses reopen:
- Ramsgate (High Street and Harbour Parade)
- Margate (High Street, Old Town and Marine Drive)
- Broadstairs (High Street)
- Cliftonville (Northdown Road)
- Birchington (Station Road)
- Westgate-on-Sea (Station Road).
The council is set to receive £126,456 from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund to help adapt public spaces and communicate the changes. This new £50 million fund, allocated from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has been introduced for all councils in England to help local businesses establish safe trading on the high streets. Receipt of this funding is dependent on it being used to support very specific activities in line with guidelines.
Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Rick Everitt said:“From June 15, retailers will be able to welcome back customers for the first time in over two months. This grant money will help us to better support them in opening as we follow government guidance through the recovery phase of this pandemic.
“Our high streets are an important part of the Council’s Recovery Plan. We are working with partners, including our town councils and Kent County Council, on how best to re-open and allow the district to continue its recovery whilst minimising risks to visitors, employees and business owners.”
For advice, the Kent and Medway Growth Hub Covid-19 business support hotline is open now on 03333 602 300 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6.30pm). From Monday 15 June, Thanet District Council’s support line 01843 577 330 will also be available (9am – 5pm Monday to Friday).
The high streets are being cleaned seven days a week from 6am. In advance of Monday, council staff have thoroughly cleaned -weeded, litter picked, swept both manually and mechanically and removed fly-tips- in Station Road in Westgate; Margate High Street; Northdown Road; Station Road in Birchington and Broadstairs High Street including the roads leading off from the bottom such as York and Albion Street.
The street cleaning of Ramsgate is being managed by the Town Council team. Ramsgate Town Team is also securing colourful ‘flip flop’ decals for businesses to use as social distancing markers.
Free downloadable materials for businesses are at thanet.gov.uk/highstreets