Traders across Scarborough and Filey have said they are excited to welcome back their customers.
After months of crippling restrictions, businesses are looking forward to greeting customers once again, and with uncertainty surrounding international travel and a “boom” expected at the UK’s seaside towns, Scarborough’s high street could be busier than ever.
Boris Johnson confirmed in a press conference on Monday evening that the next stage of lockdown easing will go ahead as planned from Monday April 12, with non-essential shops, hairdressers and gyms allowed to open.
Sue Anderson Brown, manager of the Brunswick Shopping Centre in Scarborough, said: “We’re very excited that we’re going to fully reopen next week.
“The vast majority of our non-essential retailers are equally as positive about wanting to return. Many are already doing their own preparations for that and getting their merchandise right.
“It’s just a good time and we’re making sure everyone is ready and geared up to welcome our customers back.”
Ms Anderson Brown said that the Brunswick Shopping Centre, which has remained open throughout lockdown with essential retailers and public toilets, has increased its security and housekeeping to keep shoppers safe.
“I am expecting footfall to increase significantly because a lot of people will feel they want to get out and shop and enjoy the retail experience again that they’ve not been able to do,” she said.
New decorations and streamers have been added to welcome people back with “a little touch.”
Liam Symons-Pullen, owner of salon Hair House No.25 on St Thomas Street, said he was apprehensive about the future, and that lockdown has been “grim” for his business, but that he is looking forward to seeing his clients.
“I’m very excited, I really am. I’ve been a hairdresser for 20 years and I’ve had the same clients since I did my training; I’m really looking forward to getting back to work.
“I’m fully booked now until June, I booked them all in when Boris Johnson announced the roadmap, all my clients started ringing. I’ll be working six-day weeks for the next four weeks, then it goes back to a more normal flow.
“I’m looking forward to seeing my clients!”
Andrew Jenkins, Chair of the Filey Tourism and Trade Association, said businesses in the area are excited to get going again, that safety measures are in place and that they need to be open.
“It’s a relief to be open again, we want to get back to what we do best, which is running our businesses. With the shutdowns, we’ve not been able to do that and we all thrive on interactions with customers,” he said.
“It’s the best thing in the world, it’s very exciting to welcome customers back.”
Gyms will also be allowed to reopen from Monday. Jon Bird, the general manager at Everyone Active which runs Scarborough Sports Village, said: “We’re very much looking forward to reopening our centres and welcoming back the local community.”
Jo Ireland, Scarborough Borough Council’s Customers, Communities and Partnerships Manager, added: “People have really missed visiting their local centre so seeing them reopen again, with customer and staff safety the number one priority, will be greatly welcomed.”
Scarborough Council is confident that there will be an increase in customers and shoppers once restrictions ease.
Janet Jefferson, a councillor and President of Scarborough’s Chamber of Trade, said businesses are very excited about reopening and have been planning for it.
“We’re looking forward, with caution, to moving forward and I think everybody is expecting that we will have an initial boom.
“I think there will be an initial surge, people have been waiting for the shops to open!”
Cllr Jefferson also revealed that a summer shop window competition will run in June or July with the theme of welcoming people back to Scarborough.