Middlesbrough Council wants feedback from businesses as it plans how the town centre can bounce back safely from Covid-19.
The Council’s Town Centre Recovery Group is considering what will become ‘the new normal’ in response to the Coronavirus.
Concerns around the future of retail, pubs, restaurants and the wider hospitality and leisure sector are being investigated, alongside logistical considerations including the impact on public transport.
The Council has now launched a survey of businesses as it attempts to provide as much practical support and guidance as possible.
Cllr Ashley Waters, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Bouncing back from Covid-19 will challenge different businesses in different ways and we want to do all we can to help.
“As social distancing guidelines are relaxed over the coming months the Council will work with businesses and partners to make sure people can visit the town centre safely and with confidence.
“Our Town Centre Recovery Group is working through a range of topics including retail, hospitality and leisure, culture and public transport and we want to hear from as many businesses as possible on what the main issues will be for them.
“It’s really encouraging that partners including Teesside University and representatives from different sectors are involved. Together we intend to make sure Middlesbrough recovers as quickly and safely as possible.”
Representatives from shopping centres, Middlesbrough Football Club and the town’s digital sector are involved in the plan.
Council officers are currently considering the need for a number of social distancing measures including the potential for marshals, new signage and pavement markings.
And businesses will be urged to consider PPE requirements for staff, opening hours, parking and how to manage deliveries and peak times.
The Town Centre Group is just one element of the Council’s overall Recovery plan. Other groups are focusing on Environment and Infrastructure, Business and Economy, Health and Wellbeing, Education and Skills, Council Services and Priorities, Children’s Services and Adult Social Care.
The Council is responsible for ensuring that communities and businesses can adapt to the fast-developing situation. Its approach focuses on recovery and identifying opportunities to achieve longer-term regeneration and economic development.
Town centre businesses are encouraged to complete the survey online.