How the council is supporting town centre retailers
Posted on: Friday 16 April 2021
As non-essential retailers have been allowed to reopen from this week, Bridgend County Borough Council is offering a range of measures to support businesses and help keep shoppers safe.
On Monday, the latest easing of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions came into force and saw some retailers welcoming back shoppers for the first time since December.
This led to a marked increase in footfall in town centres compared to last week. In Bridgend, 15,327 people visited the town centre on Monday April 12, a 325.6% increase from the previous Monday. In Maesteg, there was a rise of 183.2% to 2,911 and Porthcawl saw an increase of 13% to 8,120.
To support the reopening of non-essential retail, the council has been working with Bridgend Traders Forum, Porthcawl Chamber of Trade and Maesteg Business Association to distribute hand sanitiser to businesses in the town centres.
Social distance markers and signage are on display and businesses have been informed how to download posters to help shoppers understand the rules in place on their premises.
Free parking has been extended until the end of May - drivers can park for free for the first three hours at the Rhiw multi-storey car park in Bridgend, and between noon and 3pm at John Street in Porthcawl. Free parking is also available at the Llynfi Road multi-storey in Maesteg and both the Penprysg Road car park and Heol Y Groes car park in Pencoed.
To mark the reopening, colourful bunting has gone up in Bridgend, Maesteg and Porthcawl. Each has a different colour scheme to celebrate their unique identity. The ‘We Love’ apps for the three town centres are still available to download from the apps webpage.
With outdoor hospitality expected to reopen later this month, cafes, pubs and restaurants have been setting up external facilities for customers, many of these supported by Covid-19 Outdoor Improvements Recovery Fund grants.
The council has also put a new administrative process in place to deal with applications from businesses who wish to place tables and chairs on the public highway.