Social distancing measures in place as non-essential shops reopen in Richmond

Alyson Swift, of King Street Kitchen and Gift.

Richmond’s non-essential shops re-opened their doors on Monday with social distancing and sanitising measures put in place..

Businesses reported a good start and said it was encouraging to see more people in the town centre.

Alyson Swift of King Street Kitchen and Gift is pleased with the results of re-opening.

“Our first two days of opening have been excellent – better than I hoped for.

“After slight apprehension it was great to get back into the shop and lovely to have customers so happy to see me and the front door open. A steep learning curve when it comes to social distancing measures, however, being prepared to evolve and offer the best possible customer service, it’s been an exhilarating couple of days.”

Marcia McLuckie, chair of the Original Richmond and Business and Tourism Association (ORBTA). was pleased to hear positive stories from members.

Ravensworth Nurseries staff plant flower tubs.

She said: “Richmond is very much open for business and it is gratifying to hear from retailers who have got off to a really good start”.

“Richmond is lucky to have so few empty shops in the town, with only around 5 per cent empty compared with a national average of 11.5 per cent. We even had a new retailer open their doors for the first time on Monday.

“Richmond company Berber Leather had planned to open back in March but had to delay their opening in Trinity Church Square until non-essential shops were permitted by the Government to re-open.

“Berber Leather has traded successfully for the last four years through their website and attendance at big shows and have now decided to open their first shop in the town.”

Flower tubs and baskets are being put around the town by Ravensworth Nurseries

This year the theme is blue and yellow, the colours used by the Alzheimer’s Society, to raise awareness of Richmond’s ambitions to become a ‘Dementia Friendly Town’”.

Whilst all Britain in Bloom judging is cancelled this year, Richmond Town Council and ORBTA decided that Richmond should remain cheerful and welcoming.

In addition to the planters and baskets purchased by the town council, donations by the City Secret, Zetland Estates and Christine Swift of York House have enabled ORBTA to put mangers and tubs on Dundas Street roundabout, Dundas Street and the Channel.

Funds raised by the Station Singers, along with a Richmondshire District Council grant and financial input from ORBTA will go towards other flower planters and keeping all the flowers watered and cared for by Just the Job.

Details of Original Richmond Business and Tourism Association members’ opening times can be found at under the coronavirus tab.

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