Visiting Solihull high streets safely


Solihull Council continues its collaboration with local businesses and retailers to ensure they are operating in a Covid-19 secure manner so that residents can ‘Support Local’, safely.

The Council alongside key partners including Solihull Business Improvement District (BID), Shirley Marketing Group, Visit Knowle and Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre have developed a series of videos which showcase the physical changes different high street locations have put in place to safely welcome residents to their local town centres and high streets. The videos have been funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Reopening High streets Safely Fund.

Videos, released today, for Chelmsley Wood, KnowleLocal CentresShirley and Solihull town centre demonstrate new queuing and one way systems, floor stickers, hand sanitiser dispensers, thorough and regular street cleaning and information points for residents to utilise.

In the future the Council will be looking to gather case studies from businesses across the region to remind people what services are available close to home and to share their experiences of operating as a local business during this challenging time.

Councillor Karen Grinsell, Deputy Leader of Solihull Council, said:

“As we know this pandemic has wreaked havoc on our economy, in particular hitting our retail and hospitality sectors very hard.

“We have some fantastic businesses within the borough, many of which are small and independent. They have been working hard to adjust their practices, including introducing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff, displaying NHS QR posters and logging customer contact details, to ensure they are meeting government guidelines and are Covid-19 secure.

“We have been and will continue to contact businesses to ensure that they are doing everything they can to keep themselves and customers safe and to offer support and guidance to them.

“We also need residents to do the right thing by wearing a face covering (unless exempt), washing their hands regularly and maintaining social distancing when they are out and about– think hands, face, space.

“The main thing we want is for people to have the confidence to return to their local town centres and high streets, to Support Local, whenever possible.”

Melanie Palmer, Chief Executive of Solihull BID, said:

“The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund has enabled us to work with our partners to produce the short video capturing the essential safety measures that our businesses are working hard to deliver.

“Solihull BID put the safety of our town centre workers, and visitors, at the heart of everything we do. The video will assist with the delivery of the message that we are a safe and well managed town centre, and very much open for business.”

Kim Hulse, from Visit Knowle, said:

“Visit Knowle were delighted to work in collaboration with Solihull Council to produce this video. We've worked closely together over the last six months to support our businesses and to reopen the High Street safely.”

Cheryl Damms, Marketing Manager, Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre, said:

“We are all still continuing to get through trying times as the community pushes through this pandemic, which is why it’s so wonderful to recognise the selfless acts of kindness that our retailers within the community have shown. It’s times like this we see just how much the people of Chelmsley Wood support and care for each other.”

The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund is providing £50 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to councils across England to support the safe reopening of high streets and other commercial areas with Solihull receiving up to £192,000.