Your Town Centre News
Welcome to the second issue of ‘Your town centre news’. For those of you who don’t know me yet, I’m Dawn Blee, the Council’s new Town Centre Project Officer.
Using the EU’s ‘High Streets Safely Fund’, I’m working closely with colleagues from across the Council to support the safe reopening of businesses as the lockdown continues to be eased in the coming days and weeks.
I hope to meet as many of you as possible during my time at the Council. If in the meantime you’d like to contact me, please do not hesitate to drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Town centres campaign goes live
Last week, we launched our campaign to encourage visitors to safely support their local town centre when restrictions were further eased from Monday 12 April.
The campaign celebrates you, the incredible businesses that make up our four town centres.
You may have already seen our social media posts and newspaper adverts with more to come.
As part of the campaign, traders from Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Swanley and Westerham are starring in a series of short videos, ‘Shop Eat Drink Breathe Local’, that show locals and visitors what you do best.
Running on YouTube and shared across our social media channels, traders are demonstrating their skills, talking about products and services in fun and inventive ways, and encouraging people to visit the high street and support local, safely. Among these will be an introduction to Knobbly knees eco deli, an update from Schmidt Sevenoaks on how they’ve adapted throughout the pandemic and an interview with the team at Entre Nous in Westerham.
We would be grateful if you could share the social media posts with your followers to help tell the rest of the world about our brilliant high street traders!
If you would like to feature in one of our videos, please drop Dawn Blee a line at email@example.com.
New grants available
Non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses can now apply for a Government Restart Grant!
The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses that are pre-dominantly reliant on delivering in-person services for the general public and support will take the form of one-off grants.
In this edition of ‘Your town centre news’ we’re speaking with John from Sevenoaks-based men’s clothing store County Clothes about how he’s been preparing for reopening…
What have you been doing in the lead up to 12 April?
“We’ve been busy remerchandising the store and taking in new deliveries. When we closed last year, it was set out for winter, now we have our spring/summer range ready to go! We’ve also been painting the outside of the shop to give it a fresher look.”
How are you feeling to be reopening?
“Very positive. As an independent retailer, we have lots of wonderful, loyal customers who we’ve missed very much and can’t wait to see again. We know they are looking forward to shopping with us again too.
What would you say to anyone who is still nervous about returning shops?
“Every precaution possible has been taken to ensure the safety of our customers. When we reopened last year, all our customers respected the new rules and we expect that to continue this time too.
And finally, what has the last year taught you?
“Just how important it is to support your local town and businesses. I am really proud that we’ve been able to weather the storm and I truly believe this year will be the year of the independent retailer. When you shop with an independent, you get quality goods and great service at a fair price and I think that’s what customers are looking for now.
You can find County Clothes at 14 Bank St, Sevenoaks. TN13 1UW
If you’d like to be featured in ‘Your town centre news’ please firstname.lastname@example.org
Bank Street boost for Sevenoaks town
We are working to transform Bank Street in Sevenoaks into an area for dining and drinking to help hard-pressed local traders.
From this week, the pubs and eateries on Bank Street can serve outdoor-seated customers in the pedestrianised town-centre street.
Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of Sevenoaks District Council says:
“We’re doing everything possible to support our local traders in these difficult times so opening up Bank Street for safe, outdoor eating and drinking will help local hospitality businesses with little or no outdoor space.
Businesses involved will use their own tables and chairs with our Town Centre Ambassadors keeping an eye on the area to help keep it safe for everyone. If successful, the seated area could stay in place until the end of September 2021.