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Helping the high street get back to business

A new High Streets Taskforce has come together to help local businesses to follow the government guidelines to operate safely during the pandemic and to recover and rebuild thriving high streets for the future. 

Co-chaired by John Martin, owner of John Martin Estates in Pitshanger Lane and chair of Pitshanger Village Traders’ Association, the group includes local business owner Lucy Do from The Dodo Micropub in Hanwell, representatives from Businesses Improvement Districts (Acton BID, Make It Ealing, InWest Ealing BID), Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, Southall and councillors and officers from Ealing Council.

Since June, the group has been working behind the scenes to ensure that, when allowed, businesses can trade in a way that makes our high streets safe to visit.

Helping businesses to bounce back, its work has included providing important health and safety guidance to businesses, installing signage on the high street to assist with social distancing and providing important heath messages, implementing temporary changes to public footways and cycle paths to increase accessibility, and when permissible, supporting hospitality businesses to have temporary outside seating to increase their capacity. 

Work has also been under way to ensure businesses comply with the government regulations, making sure that they adopt and continue to maintain COVID-19 safety requirements for their staff and patrons.

Having led Pitshanger Lane through turbulent times in the past, as well as securing the accolade of Great British High Street of the year in 2015, High Streets Taskforce co-chair John Martin said: “We want residents to know that we are all working in partnership across the borough to ensure that our high streets are following the government guidelines and, when open, are safe to visit.

“Since June our businesses have been working hard to welcome visitors back safely but they need local support to get them through these challenging times. So I ask everyone to think local and support local businesses who are, literally, on your doorstep and form part of the fabric of each community.”

The High Streets Taskforce meets monthly and is working on an ongoing strategy to ensure that Ealing’s local businesses and town centres not only adapt and survive, but also diversify and thrive following the challenges of the pandemic. Working in partnership between the council and the business community, and they want business to have a clear voice in leading the group and driving the plans for the borough’s high streets.

The group is keen to ensure all parts of the borough are included and represented. If you run a small business and want to get involved in helping to your local high street, register your interest by emailing highstreetstaskforce@ealing.gov.uk

The taskforce is looking for volunteers from Northfields, South Ealing, Greenford, Northolt and Perivale in particular.

The High Streets Taskforce is supported with £300,759 of funding as part of the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Greater London Authority is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

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