Market traders in Stafford are looking forward to getting back to business when the indoor venue throws open its doors to the public for the first time since lockdown.
The Stafford Indoor Market closed in March to comply with national guidelines aimed at restricting the spread of Covid-19.
Now the popular market is set to open on Tuesday (16 June) following the easing of restrictions. Work has been done on the premises to make sure social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
And the news has been warmly welcomed by stall holders and borough councillor Frances Beatty, the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning.
Tracey Lake of Davies & Lake Slippers & Footwear, said: “After having a stall in the market for over 30 years I can't wait to start back selling slippers on Tuesday. I've even got a card machine and Facebook page and looking forward to seeing everyone.”
Jacqui Hughes, of Jacqui’s Handmade Cards, said: “I’m so excited to be opening Jacqui's Hand Made Cards again on Tuesday and looking forward to be seeing all of our lovely customers and fellow traders.”
Councillor Beatty said: “It has been wonderful to hear lots of positive comments from our residents who are pleased that our indoor market will be open again.
“To so many of the stallholders this is not only a businesses but a vocation – it is a major part of their life and they have put their heart into it - and, like many other sole and small traders, it has been a very tough time for them since lockdown.
“The team have been making sure that all government guidance is complied with to keep people safe.”
“Now we look forward to welcoming customers back and hopefully attracting new shoppers to the market and most of all to support our local traders in the heart of our county town.”
Social distancing signs have gone up around the borough towns. Some narrow streets around Stafford town centre will become ‘one way’ for pedestrians and pavements will be marked for people to queue safely outside various outlets.
Shops selling toys, furniture, books, electronics or clothes, for example, were allowed to reopen to the public today Monday (15 June) for the first time since lockdown as long as they completed a risk assessment and had taken the necessary steps to become Covid-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation.
Information on financial support for businesses can be found from www.staffordbc.gov.uk/LADG
Press Release No: 5650