Winchester City Council sets out plans to help retailers get “back to business”

Winchester City Council teams will be out and about to support the reopening of the district’s high streets from next week (Monday 15 June).

Visitors to the city centre will find additional signage and stencilled pavement markings to help people maintain social distancing. A pedestrian one way system will be in place along the historic high street to give shoppers added confidence. In addition, businesses and visitors to Winchester will find city council and BID team staff on hand to offer advice and guidance. The council is also working closely with market towns in the district to help them where needed to restart trading.

The city council has also issued a comprehensive ‘Back to Business’ pack for retailers to support their reopening from next week. This includes guidance and practical resources like printable signage and checklists to help ensure all necessary measures in place.

This Friday and Saturday, the Winchester Street Market will be trading again (9am-4pm) – and the Hampshire Farmers’ Market will reopen on Sunday (9am-2pm). Both are temporarily located in Middle Brook Street car park.

Cllr Paula Ferguson, Cabinet Lead for Local Economy and Climate Emergency, said:

“The city council is working hard to support businesses as they take these important first steps towards recovery. We've been preparing our high streets to welcome back more people, and shoppers will see more signage and guidance to help social distancing and to give confidence.  There are likely to be busy times, so if queues build up, we're asking people to consider popping back later.

“That our shopping areas will soon become livelier is great news for the local economy. I’d like to thank everyone for continuing to support our fantastic local retailers over this time and I look forward to seeing more shops and businesses opening their doors soon."

Dr Paul Spencer, Executive Director at Winchester Business Improvement District (BID), added:

“Winchester BID is very pleased to have been working closely with Winchester City Council and others in the city centre on the preparations for reopening as lockdown measures are eased and more businesses can open their doors again. Our team are available to offer advice and guidance to businesses and our Rangers are available 7 days a week, supporting local businesses and providing a reassuring presence for all users of the city centre.”

The district’s car parks are open as usual. In Winchester, the best value option is Park & Ride which after 10.30am, costs only £2.80 to pay in order to park all day. With capacity on buses limited due to social distancing measures, commuters and shoppers can also ‘Park and Stride’ using a signposted walk from the St Catherine’s or Barfield sites alongside the River Itchen. This picturesque route takes about 15-20 minutes to reach the city centre and has only one set of steps. Park & Ride services are running a full timetable with buses every seven minutes at peak times.

Retail businesses can access the city council’s Back to Business materials here or call the business team on 01962 848 915 between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.