Shops and businesses across Huddersfield are throwing open their doors from today after the government relaxed the lockdown restrictions for non-essential stores.
It will mean many businesses reopening for the first time since the strict lockdown measures were introduced in March as the country set about tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
And a number of changes have been implemented in the town centre to make it a safer places to shop, walk and cycle.
The council has introduced a number of temporary closures which they say will be regularly reviewed.
Market Place – closed to all traffic except cycles between 10am and 4pm (deliveries to be made before 10am and after 4pm)
John William Street – no parking (taxis and disabled parking only) road narrowed to a single lane carriageway
Cloth Hall Street – no parking (loading and blue badge parking only)
Check which shops are open here
Church Street – closed to all traffic except cycles between 10am and 4pm (deliveries to be made before 10am and after 4pm)
Wood Street – closed to all traffic except cycles between 10am and 4pm (deliveries to be made before 10am and after 4pm)
Byram Street – closed to all traffic except cycles between 10am and 4pm (deliveries to be made before 10am and after 4pm)
Areas of the town have also been marked up with signs to help with social distancing. There are floor graphics, window vinyl’s and one way systems in hotspot areas to keep the virus at bay,
The council said plans for other streets in Huddersfield and Dewsbury are being worked up and will be announced soon as part of a range of support measures as businesses come out of lockdown.
Free parking in council car parks remains in place and they said shoppers who may previously have driven in and parked up outside and visited one business should try to park a little further away, walk in and stop at some other businesses on the way.
They said they will also be announcing further investment in cultural projects to make town centres across Kirklees even more exciting places to visit and spend time.
The council will also be monitoring the situation as shoppers return to each town centre in order to provide the right level of support and make sure everyone is kept safe.
Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: “The way we shop and socialise has changed in response to the pandemic, but this isn’t a bad thing, it’s an opportunity to try new things and attract different customers.
“We’ve seen businesses come up with innovative ways to stay open during the lockdown and I am sure we will see more of this as others begin to re-open.
“This is just the start of the recovery journey we will continue to work with the business community and support the regeneration of the town centres in line with our ambitions as set out in the two blueprints.
“We are committed to working in a place based way and that is why the approach we are taking may differ across Kirklees, with safety coming first in whatever we do. I would urge businesses that are considering re-opening to check out the latest advice on our website and get in contact if they need any additional support.”
Matthew Chapman Huddersfield BID Manager said: “We have been in close contact with our town centre businesses throughout the pandemic, and they are all excited to begin trading again over the coming weeks.
“Alongside the council we have ambitions to bring Huddersfield back to life and by working together I believe we can achieve great things. We will be supporting the council to understand how the changes they are making are working on the ground and will continue to work with them on our plans to make Huddersfield into a vibrant, safe, attractive and accessible destination.”
The BID team has also jet washed the streets, provided extra sanitation and introduced the Street Ambassador team.
Officers are also working with businesses to make sure they understand the relevant legislation around re-opening. Information on who to contact for advice is available on the council website www.kirklees.gov.uk/covid19businessrecovery