Residents are being encouraged to support local businesses in their fight for survival as they begin to reopen from April 12th.
Newbury BID, the not-for-profit organisation behind the Visit Newbury brand, has launched its “Re-Visit Newbury” campaign, encouraging locals to embrace the town centre’s shops and services, pubs and eateries, and leisure facilities as Step 2 of lockdown easing commences.
As well as non-essential retailers, hair and beauty salons, and gyms reopening, more than 15 town centre hospitality venues are waiting to welcome you through the beer garden gates and take your order- it is outdoor table service only, after all. Table bookings at many of the venues are flying out the window as locals secure the best sunspots at the pubs, cafés and restaurants across town.
Though some venues are running reduced menus such as the Corn Exchange, which will be providing drinks and snacks for customers in its outdoor seating area, many will be offering their usual food and beverage options. One local pub continuing their food service is Newbury’s The Dolphin.
Ed Turner, Pub Operator and self-proclaimed Cultural King, was keen to express his excitement for the big day:
We are delighted about being able to welcome everyone back to The Dolphin. Our chefs are preparing our menus ready to plate-up fresh, seasonal produce for our guests as they enjoy the spring sunshine in our garden and, at last, the beer taps will be flowing once more.
We want to assure our guests that the health and safety of our staff and customers is our top priority and has been paramount throughout our re-opening processes and procedures.
This health and safety message is echoed across the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, with businesses working extremely hard to ensure all necessary safety messages are in place. The BID is working in partnership with West Berkshire Council’s Public Protection Partnership to deliver reopening webinars to help local businesses understand and apply the latest COVID-secure guidelines. West Berkshire Council has also made twice-weekly lateral flow testing available to local businesses where their employees cannot work from home, ensuring customer-facing staff can get tested regularly.
Local residents and visitors to the town can expect to see many of the same safety measures in place as before the third lockdown. Face masks will continue to be mandatory in shops and other indoor venues, the rule of 6 (or two households) will be in play outdoors and use of the NHS Test & Trace app will be required in relevant venues. Social distancing requirements will also remain in place and venues will have limited capacity, so queuing may be required.
Melissa Hughes, CEO of Newbury BID, says:
The businesses of Newbury town centre have worked incredibly hard to prepare for a safe and successful reopening from the 12th April. The hospitality sector in particular has been one of the worst-hit industries throughout the pandemic, and we have done everything we can at the BID to try and help as many town centre venues open for outdoor service. Unfortunately, not all businesses will be able to do so, but it’s so important that we all play our part in helping those that can by supporting our wonderful local businesses.
To help make it as easy as possible to find out which hospitality venues are re-opening in April and inspire visitors to plan their re-visit, the BID has published a blog post on their Visit Newbury website: https://visitnewbury.org.uk/re-visit-newbury
You will also find a link on this page to a comprehensive list of all venues which will be reopening in the town centre. If you know of any town centre venues that are reopening and do not feature, please get in touch at [email protected]