Shoppers' delight as Preston starts to fully reopen

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Shoppers can safely return

And business and council chiefs in Preston were today hoping that it marks the start of the city's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Non-essential shops were reopening - and Preston city centre was expected to be busy for the first time in weeks as shoppers return in numbers.

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Mark Whittle, manager of Preston City Centre Business Improvement District, said he expected to see a strong return..

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Footfall from March 29 to Apri 4, following the removal of the 'stay at home' message, had seen an almost 20 per cent increase in footfall, week on week.

Mr Whittle said: "There's a definite buzz in the air, we've been in the city centre this week, supporting businesses with their re-opening plans and it's evident they're both excited and eager to open their doors. I

"It's also great to see how the vast majority of returning businesses are working hard to ensure their operations are covid secure for their team members and returning customers.

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"During recent virtual meetings with all sectors, there's been a real anticipation from them to get going, we've continued to assist businesses throughout this quarter to ensure they're supported, and on a practical level, get them ready for the big day."

He added: "It's incumbent on all of us to continue driving down the rate of infection locally. For the first time in many months, Preston's rates are way below 100 cases per 100,000 residents.

"We need to carry on with the good work everyone's undertaken to see this reduce further.

"We anticipate a strong and safe return, and we thank the city centre's businesses, and team members, for their patience and resolve, and we wish them a really buoyant week."

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Serena Baxter, Chair of BID’s Pubwatch Group said: “After a very tough year, the hospitality industry in Preston cannot wait to get their doors open, come rain or shine, and welcome their customers back… they’ve missed them.”

Over recent weeks, venues across the city have gone the extra mile to come up with innovative and safe ideas to provide outdoor space ahead of customers returning.

Plau has a brand-new outside space, and the team at Baluga will be making the most of their central spot too with outdoor undercover seating and day party vibe.

Favourites on Winckley Street has a strong 'Al Fresco' drinks and dining offering, with Lonely People, Forum & Winckley Ale House all poised to reopen.

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The popular 1842 and ‘Rabbit Hole’ will be open for business too. The Stanley Arms will be utilising its outside space, as will the Market Tavern,

plus, Harry’s Bar, The Bull and Royal, The Wellington, Ships & Giggles, Smashed, and brand-new bar All Hopes No promises, are of which all ready to get underway.

Plus, there is an outdoor setup on offer from The Orchard, Twelve Tellers, The Adelphi, and Turtle Bay too.

For full details, visit:

And free face coverings are available at BID's station on the Flag Market

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