GOV.UK Update, Risk Information & Opening Resources: 11th June
We are excited to be nearing the date when many businesses will gradually open and we know there is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to prepare. Firstly, my apologies for the length of this – as detailed below, we found out the date of the highways changes tonight (while writing) so this is now briefly included (with more to follow soon). Please use the key below to identify information relevant to you:
- Preparing to Return – Government Guidance
- Risk Assessments
- Highways Changes / Road Closures / Deliveries / Free Parking – Please READ (Closures coming next week)
- Public Realm Management – Pavement & Window Stickers and Posters
- HR / Bringing People Back – Webinar coming …
1. Preparing to Return – Government Guidance
No doubt you will have seen a range of industry specific literature and advice relating to businesses opening considerations and requirements. The following GOV.UK website links, are being constantly updated and are a clear and accurate source of information. The PDF summary of the ‘shops and branches’ guidance can be downloaded by clicking here.
UK.GOV Guidance for a wide range of other sectors, activities and questions can also be found by clicking the following UK.GOV web links (right click, open hyperlink):
2. Risk Assessments – Please do an assessment and display the ‘Retail Display Poster’ at the link below.
Employers have a duty to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures, and must work with any other employers or contractors sharing the workplace so that everybody’s health and safety is protected. Using relevant guidance (above) you are required to make a step by step assessment of potential risks posed by COVID-19 in your workplace and the measures taken to mitigate them. If you have not already done so, an assessment should be made as soon as possible.
Once done, you should share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce. If possible, you should consider publishing the results on your website.
We also recommend that you display this poster (please see the link) in your workplace, to show you have followed this guidance. Please click here (PDF).
Help Writing a Risk Assessment:
A number of people have asked us for advice on how to write a risk assessment, including templates and examples. We suggest the following steps:
- Identify hazards
- Assess the risks
- Control the risks
- Record your findings
- Review the controls
Risk Assessment Examples and Templates:
- We are happy to provide a risk assessment template from the HSE as well as one with some example Covid-19 wording (word doc – please email us if this would help?). Please note, your risk assessment must always be specific to your business.
- You can also find other specific examples as follows (PDF links, right click, open hyperlink):
- We advise you take a methodical approach, speak to others including your staff to inform your understanding of relevant risks, and please feel free to speak to us
3. Highways Changes / Road Closures / Deliveries
Changes are Coming …
We have just been informed that Warwickshire County Council plan to close a number of roads in the town centre in advance of businesses re-opening on Monday 15th June. That means closures will be installed on the evening of Sunday 14th.
The closure, is much like the one that is put in place on Sundays at Christmas and includes:
- The Parade between Clarendon Avenue and Regent Grove.
- Warwick Street between Tavistock Street and Guy Street.
- Regent Street between Bedford Street and Park Street.
The scheme also involves:
- The temporary suspension of some on-street parking on one side of Park Street, parts of Warwick St, Bedford St, and Regent Grove.
- Reducing Bath Street to a single lane of traffic.
Business Impact and Support:
Recently, a huge amount of time has been spent engaging with Warwickshire County Council on their plans. A number of sensible changes to the original plans have been negotiated. Among the issues we are stressing, is the importance of retaining access to the ‘closed area’ for the loading, delivery and collection. This includes: any kind of cars, vans and trucks needed to re-stock businesses, any kind of delivery (UPs, Courier, Post, Food, Products etc) and any kind of collection (Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Own vehicles etc) as we know businesses are all heavily reliant on this. We are also considering click and collect, areas to extend trading, disabled parking, bus routing and more.
As of today, important aspects of the proposals need improvement. After feeding this back, Warwick District Council have stepped in to help us where we need it – and we are very grateful. Our absolute priority is to make this transition as safe, smooth and welcoming as possible.
As a part of this, we will be setting up a process for you to easily feedback any questions or concerns. For their part, the County Council have said they are flexible and will adapt plans if needed.
As well as supporting the town centre with the road closures, Warwick District Council have also announced FREE Parking in off-street car parks until the 1st of August. With respect to this, we would be grateful if you can encourage your staff to use ‘multi-story’ car parks (St Peters or Covent Garden), so that surface, shorter stay car park spaces are free for customers.
4. Public Realm Management – Stickers and Posters
We are happy to supply you:
- Floral Social Distancing Pavement Stickers (with and without text)
- Floral ‘Please Queue here’ Window Stickers
- Floral ‘We’re Open’ Window Stickers
Also, we have some helpful store posters and social medial images coming your way soon to direct customers and foster a sense of kindness and understanding as we transition forwards. That is for another email though … In the meantime, please let us know if you would like any of the above? Guidance on queueing and ‘sticker placement’ is also attached.
5. HR / Bringing People Back … Webinar Coming
As we transition into the next phase of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for furloughed staff on the 1st July, we know that a number of questions will arise. As before, please get in touch if you need any specific HR advice as our support arrangement with Absolute Works HR continues. They are working with us to prepare a ‘return to work’ support package – coming soon.
Also, we are planning a webinar with Absolute Works that will include a Q&A and round table discussion on practical HR and Employment law issues and the CJRS (furlough scheme). Please watch this space for the invitation. In the meantime, please email us any immediate questions you have …
Phew … We need some flowers now …
Don’t forget to join our Leamington Town Centre Facebook Group if you haven’t already. We will also post updates on the BID Leamington Facebook Page – and the Royal Leamington Spa Town Centre Facebook page is where we will showcase what you are now doing.
Best wishes and we look forward to seeing you soon,
Steph & Alison
PPE & Public Realm Resources plus Survey
We hope you are all safe and well.
We know that businesses are beginning to prepare for ‘life after lockdown’ in some form. We are also actively working on a town centre recovery plan with our partners, which includes managing the public realm to ensure customers feel safe and welcome.
Emerging Guidance & PPE Resources
Though detailed government guidance is not yet available, some industry groups have issued preliminary guidance, such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC) whose advice for retail stores can be found by clicking here. They have also issued some helpful Q&A guidance which practical information relating to kits, staff, customers, inside and outside the store liabilities, and have guidance on warehousing and distribution spaces too.
Generally, this suggests the use of hand sanitiser, counter screens, floor marking and various types of PPE (personal protective equipment). Recognising growing demand, the government has issued a warning that some products may run out, so we are thinking about this now. We are also aware of the need to find collective cost savings, so are exploring the option of bulk purchasing some products, but this will depend on demand and consistency of needs.
Reflecting this, we have compiled some summary information and a short survey, to help us understand your potential needs.
Please find attached:
- BID summary document (PPE Resources – click here) including details of local suppliers and some specialist suppliers, from further afield who we have previously worked with.
Survey – Business Supplies & Support:
If you are interested in bulk buying / delivery opportunities or bespoke floral floor graphics or angel wings (see below), please fill in this short survey. Please complete this by Sunday 10th May, so we can action this accordingly first thing next week.
Please note, we can make no promises on the supply of products mentioned in this survey but will do our very best to accommodate or signpost identified needs. However, if you are concerned about timing on items (e.g. bespoke counter screens) we encourage you to make contact with relevant suppliers soon.
By completing this survey, you will help us to:
- Anticipate demand, so we can explore bulk buying options on your behalf;
- Identify high quality local suppliers that you can source products from;
- Help to ensure consistency of products and messages around the town centre to aid customers;
- Potentially reduce costs and the carbon footprint by coordinating delivery;
- Identify other areas where support is needed.
Public Realm: Floral Social Distancing Stickers & NHS Angel Wings
As you will see attached and within the survey, we are preparing to install some bespoke floral floor graphics in public realm areas to highlight social distancing needs AND importantly, to provide a welcoming environment in our town centre. We have sourced these from a specialist placemaking company called ‘City Dressing’ and want to understand the wider demand for these so we can consider additional purchasing options. We are also exploring the idea of ‘Angel Wings’ window graphics and would value your feedback via the survey above.
Raise the Bar
Many thanks to the businesses who have supported this, particularly Nigel from Status Menswear and Matt from the Royal Pug, who provided case studies for local and national press. We continue to work hard on lobbying government. The petition now has nearly 15,000 signatures!
Extended Government Support
On Saturday 2nd of May, the government announced a discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This equates to a further £617 million pounds of business support. We are still awaiting details of funding criteria and will be in touch as soon as we know. You can read about the scheme by clicking here.
On Friday 1st May, the government announced Business Improvement Districts will receive a share of 6.1 million in funding to help high streets and town centres through the pandemic. This recognises the role BIDs like ourselves are playing, offering hands-on support to those businesses affected, including advisory services, increased security to protect businesses that have closed, and providing key intelligence to local and central government on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their local economies. We are still awaiting details of this funding, but welcome this, as it will be invested directly into supporting our members and the town centre during these challenging economic times. You can read about the scheme by clicking here.
Stay Up to Date & Follow Us
Please join our Leamington Town Centre Facebook Group if you haven’t already. We will also post updates on the BID Leamington Facebook Page – and the Royal Leamington Spa Town Centre Facebook page is where we will showcase what you are now doing. Stay tuned as next week we are going digital with a podcast and Zoom interview which will be shared on Facebook.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Steph or Alison on email@example.com if you have any queries and we will be in touch again soon.
Best wishes and stay safe.
We know that working from home is not an option for the majority of us at the moment. To help support you and your staff, we have found and would like to share with you some of the very best FREE online training courses. These are just a few of the options available to you and there are plenty more to choose from should you wish to search google!
This is a great opportunity to take your professional skills to the next level, develop new skills and gain new qualifications with the flexibility to study at your own pace with no strict deadlines or timetabling.
Google Digital Garage- https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/courses
Discover a range of free learning content designed to help grow your business or jump-start your career with Google Digital Garage. You can learn by selecting individual modules, or dive right in and take an entire course end-to-end depending on which course you choose!
HMRC are delivering a programme of webinars on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Come and watch a video of the recorded webinar on the HMRC YouTube channel Coronavirus – (COVID-19): helping employers to support employee.
Take your professional skills to the next level with free, online training from HubSpot Academy. From quick, practical courses to comprehensive certifications, learn everything you need to know about the most sought-after business skills.
Learn new marketing skills with Facebook Blueprint! Build your digital marketing knowledge, boost your career and add value to your company with free online training, resources and certifications.
Britvic Sensational Drinks spoke to their partners to see what they can do to help you during this time and they have offered Free Courses to those in the hospitality industry.
WCG are offering a number of online courses that’s will help you develop your skills in a number of different areas.
Halesowen BID- www.freecoursesinengland.co.uk
The Halesowen BID has teamed up with local training provider ‘Market Smarter’ to offer FREE courses to the people of Halesowen, from customer service, IT skills and much more.
Improve your Instagram Skills by completing this FREE Instagram Mini Course! Discover the 3 secrets to organically DOUBLING your leads, clients and sales in 2020!
Plus….. YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/ is literally FULL of free content to help businesses with anything imaginable.
Please keep in touch and share your online courses with us, as we are stronger together.
Best wishes and stay safe,
Steph and Alison.
Leamington shoppers are in for a cracking Christmas with town centre businesses donating over £3,500 of prizes in a new giveaway to encourage people to buy local over the festivities.
Anyone making a purchase from a participating outlet will be given a Christmas Cracker Scratchcard with the chance to win one of the mystery prizes which have been donated by more than 50 businesses.
There are also hundreds of instant prizes of free coffee or cupcakes up for grabs around the town, plus ten per cent off selected full-priced items from participating businesses in January.
The Christmas Cracker Scratchcard has been organised by BID Leamington with the support of town centre businesses, and is among a host of attractions to draw in shoppers at their busiest time.
Alison Shaw, BID Leamington Project Manager, said: “We are very excited about what is on offer in Leamington this Christmas as we have so much planned to help make our town centre come alive for customers.
“Christmas is a critical time for our town centre businesses so it is important that we all work together and get behind them over the festive period to make sure Leamington is as magical as ever.
“Thanks to the generosity of businesses in the town centre, we have been able to put together this fantastic prize giveaway which we hope will reward customers and encourage more people to do their Christmas shopping locally.”
Along with the hugely-popular Lantern Parade on Sunday, December 1, BID Leamington is partnering with Royal Priors to stage a Santa Elf Workshop and a Virtual Reality Sleigh Ride to the North Pole in the shopping centre.
The Santa Elf Workshop will be open on selected days from Saturday, November 30 to Tuesday, December 24, and the Virtual Reality Sleigh Ride will be open on Saturday, November 23, Saturday, November 30 and Saturday, December 7, from 11am to 4pm.
There will also be the chance to meet Father Christmas in the Royal Priors on Saturday, December 14, Sunday, December 15, Saturday, December 21 and Sunday, December 22.
BID Leamington’s ‘Christmas Parking Angels’ will be back to help shoppers find spaces, offer maps and give information on all the events and attractions. Free car parking is available for shoppers at Riverside House, Milverton Hill, on weekends.
Late night shopping begins on Thursdays from December 5, on top of the Yuletide Markets taking place every Sunday.
The Christmas Cracker Scratchcard runs from Monday, November 25 until Sunday, December 15 and full details can be found at www.royal-leamington-spa.co.uk/xmas-cracker.
For more information about all events and attractions taking place in Leamington town centre in the run-up to Christmas, visit www.royal-leamington-spa.co.uk.
PICTURE CAPTION: Pictured pulling the Christmas Cracker Scratchcard are, left to right, Alison Shaw (BID Leamington Project Manager) and Stephanie Kerr (BID Leamington Executive Director).
A ground-breaking initiative in Warwickshire to enable local communities to make a bigger impact on helping the homeless in their towns has been launched in Leamington.
Local charities and agencies working with the homeless and those at risk of being homeless in both towns have joined forces in a campaign called Meaningful Change, which aims to make more of a difference by providing a central focus for the public to pledge support. The campaign aims to make people more aware of the support services available in their towns, and how they can best help them by donating and volunteering.
Meaningful Change has been made possible with funding from the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, and Leamington and Stratford have worked together over the last year to devise the campaign and then tailor it to the specific needs of each town. Leamington and Stratford will operate their own campaigns, with individual websites providing information and an online platform for donations.
Philip Seccombe, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Meaningful Change provides an easy platform for people to help support local charities working with people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless so that they get the right help and can avoid falling into the criminal justice system. It will also help the wider community understand the support that is available to tackle homelessness and how they can help through the donation of time, money or items.”
BID Leamington has played a key role in developing Meaningful Change Leamington, alongside local charities and Warwick District Council. In Leamington, a collective giving pot has been established for funds to be distributed between local charities to direct aid to those most in need. The town’s first fundraising unit for contactless donations has been installed at the Visitor Information Centre and another is due to be installed in the Royal Priors Shopping Centre this Christmas.
Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “The number of vulnerable people facing a range of challenges around the UK is increasing and this is no different locally.
“In Leamington, we are fortunate to have a wide range of around-the-clock support services and the work they do is incredible, but they need our support to help those people that the public may see sleeping rough, begging, or dealing with issues that are not so visible.
“As custodians of our town centre, BID Leamington is very much aware that businesses and their customers have genuine concerns about homelessness and want to know how they can best help. Meaningful Change will enable us all to make a bigger impact.”
The Leamington campaign website lists local support available including housing services, rehabilitation, food, emergency shelter, advice and training. It also highlights ways for the public to help through volunteering or donating time, items or money.
Jon Barnett, Community Support Officer at Warwick District Council, which operates the William Wallsgrove House hostel, said: “Warwick District Council is committed to ending homelessness in Leamington and across the district.
“We are pleased to be supporting the Meaningful Change initiative which is a welcome addition to the range of support services that our Housing and Safer Communities team provide to the most vulnerable in our community.”
In Leamington, the initiative is supported by a range of local charitable and voluntary organisations including Change Grow Live, ESH Works, Helping Hands, LWS Night Shelter, Leamington Night Shelter, P3 and The Salvation Army Way Ahead Project.
Funding that is raised through Meaningful Change Leamington, will be distributed between those organisations which have nominated specific areas where they wish to focus this financial support.
For more information, including a full list of charities and statutory support agencies involved in Meaningful Change Leamington, visit www.meaningfulchange.org.uk.
PICTURE CAPTION: Pictured at the launch of Meaningful Change Leamington outside the Visitor Information Centre are, from left to right, Jon Barnett (Warwick District Council), Ayyaz Ahmed (Warwick District Council), Chris Higgins (Helping Hands), Philip Seccombe (Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner), Sgt Trent McMurray (Warwickshire Police), Stephanie Kerr (BID Leamington), Aaron Greaves (Heart of England Community Foundation), Sue Verne (Helping Hands), Ljupka Stojanovska (The Salvation Army).
Thousands of visitors turned out for the Leamington Food Festival which served up a weekend of foodie fun in the Pump Room Gardens.
Two days of sunny weather, more than 130 food producers and traders, live music, demonstrations and a kids’ cookery school meant huge numbers of people turned out to the event which is organised by BID Leamington with the support of local businesses.
On the Live Kitchen the excitement was tangible as Sean Hughes went one better than last year to land the crown as the Aubrey Allen ‘Home Cook of the Year’ at the Festival.
Sean won by a single point after finishing as runner-up in 2018, the narrowest winning margin in the six-year history of the competition which is the centrepiece of the festival.
The Home Cook of the Year is one of the highlights of the weekend, and Hughes found a novel way to try to escape the stress of producing three courses of restaurant-quality food in under two hours.
The project manager, who lives in Kineton, said: “I did the Wolf Run yesterday but to be honest I just kept worrying about my chocolate fondant all the way round the run.
“I was really pleased with the way it went but I was not sure I had won it until the results were read out.”
Sean, who was cheered on by wife Lou and six-year-old son Jacob, urged others to enter the competition in 12 months’ time.
His main course of beef was described by Clive Fretwell – who had worked for Raymond Blanc in senior roles for almost 30 years – as “perfection on a plate”.
The festival, which is in its 12th year, attracts around 25,000 local people and visitors to the town.
As well as featuring many local favourites, the festival welcomed a number of new businesses including the Cellar Club, the Clarendon, Bar & Block, the Steamhouse and Hart & Co with a fabulous beach themed stall.
Alison Shaw, BID Leamington project manager and festival organiser, said: “We could not have been more pleased this year as the sun shone for most of the weekend which meant there was a great turn out for our traders, exhibitors and demonstrators.
“The festival not only highlights many of the fantastic food and drink businesses we have in our area, but it’s also a great opportunity for people to visit and enjoy the town centre and we spoke to people from all over the country.
“Running for the second year, we offered spot prizes and the opportunity to win a £150 Food Hamper filled with local treats to those travelling to the festival by train and there was a great take-up which was really pleasing.
“We also have great support from Leamington businesses and hugely appreciate the support we get from a wide range of staff and volunteers who help make the event such a resounding success.”
Food Festival: Pictured, the popular band ‘Chasing Deer’ made up of members Rob, Peter and Adam entertaining the crowds.