Written by Kunal Sawhney, CEO, Kalkine Group
With Stage 3 of reopening according to the planned easements set out in the exit roadmap, most of the indoor settings have been allowed to resume their operations after extended guidance to remain shut due to higher number of coronavirus cases and the subsequent death rate.
In the first three months of this calendar year, the UK government has primarily taken every step possible to avert further outbreaks in the country, effectively paving the way for a smoother exit from the lockdown once the restrictions are lifted.
Now, the individuals are looking forward to Stage 4 of reopening and further alleviations in the travel-related curbs following the sudden increase in the rate of infections in various parts of the world.
Supporting the high streets across various jurisdictions of England, the government has declared that about 57 English high streets have been identified by the authorities that are going to receive more than £830 million in funding. Cumulatively, about 72 high streets will be sharing the multi-million funding support.
With the respective share of funding, the high streets will be utilising the monetary resources for building new homes, transforming the underused spaces and improving the transport links as reopening of businesses, hospitality, and other sectors accelerate.
Consequently, the funding has been designed to support the high streets in trouble-free reopening as a large section of society faces difficulty in recovering from the unnatural hardships brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
In line with the government’s levelling up agenda, more high streets are expected to receive fresh monetary injections in the near future to redevelop the places and strengthen the transport links. The investment set aside for the high streets will help in transforming the town centres into vibrant places to live, shop and work.
The multi-million pound funding is likely to provide a much-needed cushion for the towns as they begin to welcome the visitors, shoppers, travellers back to the high streets with a large number of cinemas, pubs, and bowling alleys lined up to resume their services in the week ahead.
Alongside supporting the high streets in remodelling, the funding will eventually act as a key aid in protecting, creating and supporting thousands of jobs across various industries as a part of the government’s plan to back the job recovery. Supporting the high streets in England, helping the localities in improving their respective transport links and transforming the underutilised spaces has been one of the ways through which the government has continuously backed the retail and hospitality sector.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has launched a Welcome Bank Fund in March this year in order to amplify the seating areas, food stall pop-ups, markets, to improve the green spaces, effectively helping the councils to boost tourism. The fund was primarily inducted to institute more safer options for reuniting after the pandemic restrictions were lifted.
With England proceeding ahead to reopen according to Stage 4, more friends and relatives will be travelling to places, visiting markets and other recreational areas as they will be allowed to reunite after months-long struggle in containing the spread of Covid-19 (SARS CoV-2). With the summer season ahead, there is a high likelihood that a large number of individuals will be travelling domestically to meet their friends and relatives.
An improved outlay for developing the localities will be helping the local administrations in recovering from the pandemic and overcome the loopholes that have emerged over time.
With the multi-million pound funding, some of the confirmed plans include a new market food hall and multiplex cinemas in Grimsby as the area is expecting to boost the visitor count to the town centre. Furthermore, the street will get a new public square and events space which is expected to bring more buzz and vitality to the high street under the monetary share of £17.28 million allocated for the jurisdiction.
Going ahead, the Stage 4 of reopening, which is scheduled for no earlier than 21 June, all the marketplaces, streets which attract large numbers of tourists and other outdoor settings will be rejigged in order to provide a safe and exciting experience, once the people return to streets in large numbers.
Under Stage 4 of reopening, the government is expected to remove all legal limits on mixing with the nightclubs receiving a go-ahead to reopen as more large gatherings will be allowed to take place.