Published: Friday, 9th April 2021
Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 7 April 2021, the council is working with local partners and businesses to help ensure they can re-open safely for customers on Monday 12 April.
They are also aiming to ensure the area is bright and welcoming ready for the return of visitors to our high streets.
A business and tourism toolkit, produced by Norfolk County Council Public Health, has been circulated to businesses, with an offer to print free of charge any posters or booklets within it, to help ensure businesses are displaying all the information they need for their customers. This is backed up by a signage pack available on the borough council's Advice for re-opening premises page - again with the offer of free printing.
Signage, floor stickers and bollard covers are being installed in each of our market towns, reminding people to stay left, and follow the hands, face space guidance. This builds on the work that was started last summer. Window vinyl artwork will be appearing over the next couple of weeks reiterating the same welcome back and shop safely messages.
Our West Norfolk Welcomes campaign is also encouraging people to come into the area but to be respectful, to follow the guidance and to shop safely. Press adverts, articles, bus stop posters and social media will all support this campaign.
The Explore-a-Book bench trail has already received a very positive response and we hope it will continue to draw people into all three towns. Photos of people on the benches have been appearing all over social media. Please do remember to keep socially distanced unless you are in a family group, and tag us into your photos #exploreabookWN.
Anyone who has come into town ahead of the reopening of non essential retail and outdoor hospitality on Monday will no doubt have seen the works beginning in the high street between VPZ and Primark. This work has been funded by Town's Deal accelerated fund and the Norfolk Strategic Fund. New paving, planting and seating is being installed following feedback from earlier consultation. There will also be new street lighting which will enable festoon lighting for events and Christmas, making the area look more attractive and in keeping with the Saturday Market Place and Tuesday Market Place schemes.
Additional outdoor seating has also been purchased, funded through the Norfolk Strategic Fund Tourism Support Package, which will help support hospitality businesses who do not have any outdoor seating. This will be installed in the Tuesday Market Place and King's Staithe Square initially, with plans for other locations including in Hunstanton.
A process for applying for licence for street furniture has also been finalised and any hospitality businesses wishing to apply for licence should visit our pavement licence page.
The council has, over the course of the pandemic, processed over £60million in government grant payments to local businesses. It has also used government funding to support businesses to reopen and to ensure the area is safe and welcoming and that there is appropriate hand sanitising stations, cleaning regimes and safety signage in place. In the next week the process for paying restart grants, announced in the budget, will be opened up to support businesses further with the re-opening plans.
Marshals will continue to be in and around the town to provide advice and support to businesses. Further support can be requested from our Environmental Health team if businesses need additional advice in order comply with the guidance.
This follows on from an 'Ask-the-experts webinar' which took place on 7 April, hosted by Norfolk Chamber of Trade. Called King's Lynn & West Norfolk Let's Communicate, the webinar provide businesses in west Norfolk with an opportunity to ask any questions they may have ahead of reopening on 12 April.
Lorraine Gore, Chief Executive of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk said: "Throughout the pandemic we have been keen to ensure that we have supported businesses in the best way possible while adhering to all the government guidance. We have put a lot of measures in place to ensure that west Norfolk is ready to welcome back visitors, shoppers and residents in a safe way. Hand sanitiser stations have been installed, advice and signage provided for businesses and around the towns. Our local businesses are vital to our local economy and we would urge you to support them in any way you can, safely and responsibly. As the roadmap from lockdown progresses, we are exploring what activities or events we may be able to provide in the future to encourage people back to our towns to support local businesses."