Shop Local, Shop Safe, Rediscover Northampton – this is a key message from the Northampton town centre Business Improvement District (BID) in the lead-up to Christmas.
The BID team, which represents town centre businesses, is committed to ensuring our town centre is safe, clean and welcoming; to enticing visitors into the town centre; and to promoting our town centre’s excellent range of businesses and boutiques, cafes and restaurants, venues and salons, culture and heritage.
COVID-19 means the need for safety is higher than ever, and a recent report saw Northampton come top in terms of people feeling safe while shopping.
The report, from Storecheckers, saw mystery shoppers visit town and city centres in the UK. They monitored the proportion of people wearing masks and then assessed how this impacted on their perception of COVID care and security and their willingness to return to each store they had visited.
Northampton town centre came out top, with 100% of customers wearing masks and only 15% of staff not wearing masks – the highest-performing town centre visited by the mystery shoppers.
To reinforce safety and security there are now additional police officers in the town centre on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and you may well notice Kimberley (BID Project Support Executive) and Bailey (BID Host), while you are in the town centre. This uniformed duo both support businesses and welcome visitors into the town. Say hi if you spot them, they are here to help.
Kimberley and Bailey wear Radio Links, which connect them to the CCTV Operations, and body cams which capture footage that can be used as evidence by the Police.
Finally, to boost safety in the light of COVID-19, pavements have been temporarily widened on the north side of St Giles Street between the Guildhall and Hazelwood Road – so people can walk where cars are normally parked.
Clean and welcoming
Tidy days and deep cleaning have been organised in the lead up to Christmas 2020 there will be new winter floral displays planted along Abington Street as well as night time overhead lighting around All Saints Church.
To further encourage people to shop local and support the town centre a new film has been produced to showcase the incredible array of independently owned businesses and shops based here in Northampton town centre.
The new Rediscover Northampton video has been reminding us all about why Northampton town centre is THE place to visit, shop and do business.
This film – funded by the ERDF Reopening High Streets Safely fund – offers a unique insight into the array of independent businesses nestled in all corners of the town centre. See it for yourself on the BID’s Facebook channel here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=327167585234824 or on our website.
So, whether you choose to pop into town and explore the shops for yourself, or you would prefer to shop local but online (many of our town centre businesses have their own websites) make sure you explore and rediscover Northampton town centre.