Non-essential retailers can re-open from Monday 15th June and Milton Keynes Council is putting measures in place on the city’s local high streets to help shoppers feel safe and support independent retailers.
Councillors came forward to request support for local high streets in Bletchley, Stony Stratford, Wolverton, Newport Pagnell & Hanslope, and working closely with local business owners, Parish Councils & Town Councils looked at the most suitable measures for each high street. MK Council has allocated around £240k of European Regional Development Fund cash to help put these measures in place.
Local high streets will look slightly different when shoppers return. Measures such as pavement widening, signage, one-way systems and in some cases road closures will be put in place to give retailers the flexibility they need to open in line with social distancing measures and to keep shoppers safe whilst visiting.
Shoppers will also be encouraged to cycle and walk where possible, with a further £228,000 allocated to support these measures such as extra bike storage.
The Council is also spending money to promote the city’s local high streets and encourage people to shop with their local independent retailers, highlighting the great services that are available to many people in different areas of MK on their doorstep.
Cllr Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Public Realm, said: “Some of our high street shops have remained open throughout the crisis, providing local people with essential goods and services and being a lifeline for those who would have otherwise found it difficult to get to a supermarket.”
She continued: “It is important as we begin to Restart MK that we continue to champion and support our independent retailers, make it easy for shoppers to visit their local high street and ensure they feel safe whilst doing so”
She concluded: “We are entering what is likely to be a period of deep recession and as a Council we’re keen to support our independent retailers and high streets. These measures will help us to encourage shoppers to visit their local high streets whilst remaining safe and following government social distancing guidelines.”