- Non-essential businesses are set to reopen in Burnley from Monday 15th June, so long as they meet government social distancing guidelines
- Essential businesses have remained open in the town centre and market throughout the crisis
- Strict hygiene and social distancing practices will be in place
From Monday 15th June, non-essential businesses will start to reopen in Burnley town centre, so long as they can meet the government social distancing guidelines.
But what will the shopping experience look like in Burnley town centre?
Burnley Market and Charter Walk reveal what shoppers can expect from the 15th June.
Charter Walk Shopping Centre is home to around 85 stores and many of those classed as essential have remained open during lockdown, such as Superdrug, Holland & Barrett and Home Bargains. During the pandemic, cleaning regimes have increased, particularly of touch points like hard surfaces and door handles. Charter Walk staff and businesses have been thoroughly briefed to ensure both themselves and customers are protected as much as possible.
From 15th June, there will be several changes to the way people shop. All but two entrances to the shopping centre will be closed to ensure the flow and volume of visitors can be controlled. Three entrances at Wilko, Pandora and Bankfield Passageway at the side of Poundland will be open and manned by staff, who will ensure footfall is controlled and hand sanitiser is provided.
There will be social distancing signs and markers to assist people with being mindful of others around them and shoppers will be encouraged to keep left when moving around the centre. Hand sanitiser will not only be provided at the entrances, but also at various points across Charter Walk.
In addition, the benches have been removed to help with hygiene, but also to prevent people from gathering in larger groups. However, Charter Walk is aware that people may feel they need a quiet space to rest. Those individuals should approach a Charter Walk team member, who will be happy to take them to a designated quiet area.
The toilets are not currently open, but the situation is being assessed as to how they can safely open with regular cleaning.
Debbie Hernon, Charter Walk Shopping Centre manager, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming more shoppers back to the centre and it is the priority of our team to make sure everyone feels safe. We are conscious that many people may feel wary about heading back to the town centre with lockdown restrictions eased, but we want to reassure shoppers that a great deal of steps and planning has been undertaken to make the experience as safe and comfortable as possible.
“We ask that people follow the signs and markers in place and be patient and kind to one another and our businesses during this time. We would like to remind people to also maintain good personal hygiene, by using tissues and the bins provided, as well as the hand sanitiser provided at the entrances and around the centre.
“Of course, we also ask people to support Burnley town centre during this time, to shop local with us where possible and to make sure they approach one of our friendly and fully-trained team members should they require assistance.”
People are advised to regularly visit the Charter Walk website and social media channels before their shopping trip to find out the latest guidance.
Sharp’s Butchers, J & A Fruit and Haffner’s are three of the businesses in the market that have now started to trade after the lockdown period, providing fresh, locally sourced produce.
Some tenants selling cooked food have also opened their businesses and are offering a takeaway service – these are Wok This Way and Kerpow.
From the 15th June, other non-food stalls will reopen, except for those who provide beauty services who will re-open when government guidance changes.
Burnley Market will be open for shoppers between 9am and 4pm every day except Tuesdays and Sundays. Those heading to the market will need to enter from the lift and stairs in Charter Walk and leave via the former Holden’s exit and down the ramp. To ensure a manageable one-way system and social distancing, the escalator entrance and Curzon Street steps entrance will be closed temporarily.
People should queue on the balcony, abiding by the social distancing markers, with currently, a maximum of 20 customers allowed into the market at one time – this will be monitored and reviewed regularly. Like in Charter Walk, the entrance and exit will be staffed, and hand sanitiser will be available. Shoppers are asked to be considerate of others and to follow the directional arrows of the one-way system.
Burnley Market businesses encourage customers to phone in their orders prior to visiting to help reduce waiting times; people can find out the information they require on the Burnley Market website.
The toilet facilities, children’s rides, vending machines and the weighing machine are closed temporarily, and benches and the rest area are also unavailable. Again, people are encouraged to approach a member of staff if they feel they need a quiet space in which to rest.
Whilst the eating area is currently closed, work is being undertaken to extend this area so that when guidelines permit, it can reopen with wider social distancing in place.
Councillor Gordon Birtwistle said: “Burnley’s town centre has started to re-open its doors to serve the people of the town again after the lockdown period, and it is clear our residents appreciate using and supporting local businesses more than ever. The strict hygiene and social distancing procedures in place make Burnley town centre a safe and hopefully enjoyable shopping experience. It is really important at this time that people support their town centre, particularly smaller independent shops.
“We are also re-opening the market, where traders supply fresh, locally-sourced produce and unique products, and a friendly welcoming atmosphere awaits our customers. We would like to encourage anyone local who hasn’t perhaps fully explored our town centre to come and see what we have to offer, and we would hope to welcome them back time and time again.”