Owners of shops and businesses in Bury St Edmunds are preparing to re-open after the Government’s announcement that they will be able to do so from June 15 – with customer and staff safety critically adhered to. As the town prepares to fully re-open a number of essential shops have continued trading safely throughout the last two months, together with food outlets selling takeaway meals and drinks.
Lesley Bancroft who owns Buy the Light in Whiting Street, which was only trading online during lockdown, said: “Now that we have a date from the Government to work towards I will be putting in additional measures to allow for social distancing and to help my customers and staff stay safe. I’ve had great support from the Our Bury St Edmunds team who have helped me access the resources and guidance I need and now it’s a case of having the shop ready to welcome customers back, while still following all the scientific safety advice. I am so looking forward to seeing some of my regular customers again as well as my colleagues and hope they have all stayed safe and well.”
As well as the re-opening plans the shop was given another boost just before lockdown began when it was shortlisted for a prestigious award in the gift shop industry. Buy the Light is a regional finalist in the GREAT awards which celebrate gift retailing. The winners will be announced in the autumn.
As the lockdown period has been eased in the last couple of weeks, Bury St Edmunds town centre has seen more people visiting, including enjoying the Abbey Gardens. The Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds has been working with a number of local partners to ensure that social distancing and safety concerns are addressed responsibly and has already put signage in place around the town to help shoppers and visitors maintain a safe distance.
Our Bury St Edmunds Chief Executive Mark Cordell said: “There is a lot to think about as the town prepares to start trading fully again and of course there are still those in the hospitality sector who are waiting to hear about reopening dates. But in the meantime we are supporting our business members, all of whom want to open with all the responsible measures in place. Between now and June 15 we’ll be making sure the new way of working will be as clear as possible and hope that shoppers and visitors to the town will understand how important that is.”