Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) has been working closely with The Mall, Fremlin Walk, One Maidstone, Kent County Council and Kent Police to make sure the town could reopen as safely as possible as Lockdown restrictions were lifted.
Many businesses in the town have worked hard to ensure that Maidstone is a safe environment for people to return to, and the numbers reflect the confidence of shoppers with footfall returning to above pre-Covid levels; the Springboard report provided to MBC, shows week on week (w/c 12-18 April 2021), an increase of 1.8% compared to 2019.
John Foster, Head of Economic Development at Maidstone Borough Council said:
“This is excellent news. Shoppers have returned to the high street and the county town in great numbers. I want to thank Maidstone’s retailers, cafés and restaurants for working so hard to create a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors and shoppers. Re-opening town centres is vital to their future success and to those businesses within them.”
The Government Covid-19 Roadmap to Recovery guidance remains in place around Safer Public Spaces and the project to reopen the town centre has received support from the European Regional Development Fund.
Mr Foster continued:
“MBC continues to work with our partners to create an attractive and secure environment in the town centre and is urging everyone to remember to maintain social distancing rules as the economy restarts.”
General Manager at The Mall Gavin Cockayne said:
“Footfall and basket sizes since reopening have been encouraging, reflecting pent up demand for physical retail, and we are confident that this will continue to grow as more and more of our customers from the local community return to our centre as restrictions are loosened further.
“I’d like to thank our team for all their hard work in ensuring our retailer customers’ stores and our centres reopened quickly and safely to serve our local community.”
Maidstone’s Fremlin Walk Centre Manager, Lloyd Wright added:
“It’s wonderful to see so many customers returning to the town in the number that they have after such a long lockdown. Fremlin Walk and the town centre feels alive again.
“Our cleaning and security staff have and continue to work extremely hard to make the public areas of Fremlin Walk as safe as possible and they’re delighted that so many people have returned; it makes all their efforts worthwhile. Our retailers have implemented their own safety measures and we’ve been working with them to make sure they have everything they need to provide their customers with the best experience possible.
“We’d all like to thank Maidstone’s shoppers for their patience and understanding, there’s a real feeling of respect and support which is a testament to our community.”