It was good to hear that Elmbridge will benefit from new government measures to prepare local high streets for the summer, as we continue to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions.
First, Elmbridge will receive over £120,000 from a new, £56 million “Welcome Back Fund”. Elmbridge Borough Council could use this funding to boost the look and feel of our high streets, for example by investing in seating areas and planting flowers, or preparing to hold events like street markets. The funding could also be used to install signage to encourage social distancing.
In addition, the government has announced that businesses like pubs and restaurants will be able to use their land more flexibly to set up marquees and provide more outdoor space for diners. Importantly, businesses will now be able to keep such changes for the whole summer, rather than the 28 days currently allowed.
Finally, the government will be introducing caps on private parking fines. These can be a concern for many residents heading to the local high street, so this measure will make a real difference once shops begin to re-open.
As we continue to cautiously ease the lockdown restrictions, this set of measures will be a welcome boost for Elmbridge businesses.
(Pictured above – visiting businesses on Molesey High Street last year)