Update – Hospitality Survey, Grants, Parking, BID Support

Hi everyone,

We hope you are doing okay given the mixed news we have received in the last day. This is a quick update with brief news and clarifications. Please stay in touch.

Tier Status

As we are sure you know, yesterday we learnt that Warwickshire has been classified as Tier 3.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/full-list-of-local-restriction-tiers-by-area

Whilst it is good news that our retail sector can open on December 2nd (clarification below), it is also very disappointing for our hospitality and leisure sector business owners and employees and we are aware that this is causing significant pain and worry.

For information about the respective tiers please click here.

 

Hospitality & Leisure Sector

We welcomed the change to last orders at 10pm, and 11pm closing in Tier 2, but we also know that being in Tier 3, for now this offers little consolation.

Grant funding support for ‘closed’ Tier 3 businesses will continue and we will update you when we know how this will be administered. Notwithstanding this, we know that this existing grant funding allowance does not come close to offering businesses subject to Tier 3 restrictions sufficient financial support.

Quick 3 min Survey

We would be grateful if you could share any details that help to quantify the critical challenges you face. Data will be anonymised.

Please click here and thank you in advance: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/R8N59B2

What’s Happening Now …

We are speaking to local, regional and national partners to understand, challenge and lobby on key areas of concern. Our message right now is: 2K / 3K grants barely touch the sides of 10-15K monthly rent and other fixed costs for many. Hundreds of staff are furloughed, while owners continue to pay NI and pensions – and of course, all the furlough investment is lost if we don’t get closed Tier 3 businesses open, or on proper life support. Any 14-day review should start from yesterday (not the 2nd of Dec). Leamington’s hospitality and leisure sector is safe, prepared, responsible.

Among other things, our ‘ask’ that includes additional critical ‘life support’ grant funding, pausing NI and pensions contributions on furloughed staff, and extensions to the business rate holiday and VAT reduction schemes. Some business owners face particular challenges with leases, legal, HR issues, so please reach out if you need help. Finally, we know many are looking for more clarity, evidence and certainty around the application of Tiers in local places and the review process.

The national ‘Bounce Back Better’ campaign information is here (please click). We are also open to your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

 

Retail – Opening Date & Grant Confirmation

For those that can open, we are pleased to confirm that Warwick County Council are of the view, alongside many others, that the new tier structures will come into force one minute past midnight (00:01) on Wednesday 2nd December.

This means, for those that are permitted in Tier 3, you can open your doors on the 2nd of December.

We have also had confirmation that opening on the 2nd of December will not impact your eligibility to grant funding for the 28 day ‘closed’ period in November.

All information and links to grants are here (please click). Please note deadlines are fast approaching.

 

Free Parking in December – Some Good News

After consulting with key stakeholders across the District including ourselves, Warwick District Council (WDC) have agreed to offer free parking in off street car parks from the 2nd of December. Free parking in WDC off-street car parks will enhance the shopping experience, reduce contact between people and machines in car parks, and support customers to easily return to their favourite shops.

Accordingly, surface car parks will remain ‘short-stay’ for shoppers, while the multi-storey car parks, such as Covent Garden and St Peters, remain best suited those wishing to park all day – so please direct your staff in that direction.

Please also note, the Royal Priors is offering Free parking on Thursdays from 5pm (to support late night shopping). We are waiting to hear what the County Council will offer with respect to on-street / curbside parking.

 

Late Night Opening / Extended Trading

Royal Priors

  • Late night shopping in the Royal Priors will be on Thursdays, beginning on Thursday 3rd – till 8pm.
  • From Monday 14th the Royal Priors will be open till 7pm – except on Sundays which will be 5pm and Thursdays 8pm.

Please let us know if you are planning to extend your hours? … please include: Dates and times.

Materials to Support Opening

Alison has emailed you about obtaining any of the following – so if you haven’t already, please let us know what you would like and we will drop it in next week:

  • Shop Local window stickers
  • Spa Stars – window decorations
  • Noel Noses (Cover Your Nose) (A4 Poster)
  • Sanitised Santa (Hands) (A4 Poster)
  • Inside Instructions (A4 Poster)
  • Spa Space – Fill in text (A4 Poster)
  • Spa Space – Parade Safely (A4 Poster)

THANK YOU! … as always … we remain inspired by everything we can see you doing to navigate a path forwards and we are here to help in any way we can.

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. You can also find this email update as well as previous ones on our website: www.bidleamington.com.

Best wishes and we look forward to seeing you soon,

Steph & Alison