BCP COUNCIL are encouraging residents to rediscover their local high streets safely and help support independent businesses through their new campaign launched today.

The ‘Rediscover Safely’ initiative, being launched by BCP Council from today, aims to reassure people that it is safe to shop and eat out, but also reminds people of their personal responsibilities of wearing masks, keeping distance and washing hands – ‘hands, face, space’.

Having been piloted on Southbourne high street, the campaign will be rolled out across the whole conurbation to support businesses on all 17 high streets in the area.

Leader of the Council Cllr Drew Mellor said: “We want to inspire people to make an active choice to spend and shop locally, with the positive impact this has on making their area a great place to live.

“Whether you like to shop, pop out for lunch or meet a friend for coffee in one of our main town centres, or just up the road from home, we’re encouraging you to make the most of the vibrant and enticing high street offers all across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

“People may be reluctant to step back out on to the High Street but local businesses and retailers are in great need of local community support, residents need to feel safe enough to reconnect with retails and hospitality outlets on their doorsteps.”

‘Rediscover Safely’ will focus on invigorating the town centres of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and encouraging people to not forget local businesses and high street shops.

Bournemouth Echo:

The funding for the £90,000 initiative, will be funded from the £350,000 ringfenced grant given to the council through from government’s Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.

Cllr Nicola Greene, Portfolio Holder for Covid Resilience said: “Retailers, those in the hospitality sector and other high street businesses have been working really hard to make sure they comply with government requirements including increasing sanitisation, rearranging their premises layouts to facilitate social distancing, and participating in test and trace.

“I’d like to thank all businesses for doing that so thoroughly. It’s now time for all of us to do our bit with confidence that we can now rediscover our favourite shopping areas safely.”

Residents will see adverts spring up across the three towns as well as online and on local radio, reminding them what’s on offer in their area, aiming to remind us all what we may have missed about our local high streets, and hoping to tempt us back to visit.

These will be on billboards, buses and in shops themselves, all funded by a Reopening High Streets Safely grant from the European Regional Development Fund, allocated to BCP Council by central government.

Heather Martyn, President Bournemouth Chamber of Trade added: “We are lucky to have such vibrant and popular shopping districts across the conurbation of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Bournemouth Echo:

“High Streets countrywide have suffered even more this year and it is essential that we reconnect with customers, suppliers and visitors to ensure they want to return.

“It’s vital that we all rediscover what our high streets have to offer, if independent stores and high streets are to return to what they once were and that we can safely support local businesses once again.”

‘Rediscover Safely’ runs for the next three months and will be supported by local businesses, Bournemouth BID, Christchurch Chamber and Poole BID as well as transport companies.