BIDs Support Hospitality Businesses To Re-open

Businesses in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter who are gearing up for re-opening say they are now more optimistic for the future following the Government’s announcement today that social distancing has been relaxed.

Hospitality businesses, including pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels – which represent one of the largest sectors in both the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter - are due to re-open on July 4.

To help businesses re-open safely, The Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have so far delivered more than 250 re-opening starter packs.  These have included social distancing floor graphics and tape washable face coverings and hand sanitiser, posters reminding customers to social distance and wash their hands and a business compliance poster.

Throughout lockdown, the BIDs have ensured businesses are updated on all the guidelines and support available and the Rangers have been an important link with businesses and statutory authorities.

The focus more recently has been on helping businesses re-open which includes holding a special COVID-19 webinar for hospitality and leisure businesses on July 2.

Paul Hurst, owner of The Old Bell Hotel in Sadler Gate, confirmed that parts of the historic venue would re-open on July 4.

“We are opening the outside areas, the front bar and the Great Ballroom to ensure we can adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“This will be much easier now that it has been reduced to one metre although our focus will be on ensuring the safety of customers and staff alike.”

Mr Hurst praised the Cathedral Quarter BID for supporting businesses throughout lockdown.

“The whole BID team have done a sterling job – none more so than since non-essential retail has been allowed to reopen.

“We all feel a lot more optimistic now that we have seen how both businesses and the public have responded to the relaxations from June 15.

“Retailers themselves have done a great job to introduce measures such as floor markers, hand sanitisers, queue management and limits on numbers of people in store.

“The atmosphere has been calm and friendly and this bodes well for the re-opening of hospitality which is a crucial part of the Cathedral Quarter experience.”

Cameron Cook from the Bookcafé in The Cornmarket re-opened for click and collect and takeaways two weeks ago and developed an ordering app early on in lockdown with an eye on the future.

“We re-opened the Belper venue first and followed this up with Derby.  Both have gone well and we are now looking at welcoming customers back inside on July 4.

“The social distancing relaxation will certainly make life easier but the most important thing is to reassure customers that we are safe, clean and efficient with pre-booking of tables in both Belper and Derby via our website  to ensure the welfare of both customers and our staff.

“We are grateful to the BID for the support over the past weeks which have been incredibly challenging with mounting costs and severely reduced turnover.

“Hopefully, we are now turning the corner in this situation but I feel it is important to take a cautious approach and we will be operating with less table covers than we legally have to initially to ensure we get it right from the outset to make sure that our customers have a great experience.

Martin Langsdale, chair of the Cathedral Quarter Board and Helen Wathall, chair of St Peters Quarter Board, said: “Hospitality is a key part of the visitor experience in both BID areas and our focus has been on helping these businesses open safely.

“Both BIDs have been important members of the Derby Economic Recovery Taskforce and we have been sharing best practice with other towns and cities through our membership of national industry bodies.

“This partnership approach has ensured a joined-up response to the relaxation of lockdown and the introduction of a number of practical measures to encourage people back into the city centre safely  such as signage, hand sanitisers an increased uniform presence, additional street cleaning and amendments to some traffic routes. The reduced parking charges have also proved popular with visitors.

“Our goal throughout these unprecedented times has been to support businesses during lockdown and then to plan and deliver a safe re-opening of the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter and, with proactive communications and practical support, this is being achieved for the benefit of everyone who lives, works and visits the city centre.”

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