Over the last three months NABMA has been in close contact with government discussing its Support Plan for Markets alongside market start back, social distancing and funding support to assist market operators. Over the Bank Holiday weekend two major government announcements were made that positively reflect upon the NABMA campaign that is ongoing.
Welcome back to Markets – At the Downing Street Press Briefing last night , the Prime Minister announced that outdoor markets can reopen and sell any item, including non essential from 1 June.
From 15 June, then all other non–essential retail can open, so long as the businesses can abide by social distancing rules on their premises.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that the government was publishing new guidance for the retail sector detailing “measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards”. This is the update guidance.
NABMA will provide details of the government guidance as soon as available that will help determine which markets can open. It may be that certain markets will not be able, or geared up, to start back on the 1 June as compliance with government guidance is a mandatory requirement. Close liaison with traders to understand their wishes will also be important.
At the present the announcement only applies to England.
We also refer members to the NABMA Social Distancing Guidance that was updated last week and , and forwarded to government, that includes recommendations for outdoor markets. We trust that this Guidance will also provide a useful tick box exercise to help markets determine their restart plans.
Reopening High Streets Safely Fund – NABMA was assured last week by government that its lobbying for market start back support was acknowledged. Also that markets could be a potential beneficiary of high street support soon to be announced. The new Fund was then announced, without warning, on Sunday. Grants will be awarded to local authorities on the basis of population which will serve as a proxy for the footfall anticipated on the high streets and the degree of safeguarding required. A minimum grant value of £30k has been set.
NABMA is today writing to the chief executive of all local authority NABMA members to urge them to support and submit market related bids. We would suggest that market management make contact and liaise with their Leader and Chief Executive to consider and then formulate an early bid. Costs to reopen markets may be considerable. You may wish to think around your expenditure to be incurred for social media and publicity and promotion for opening up; implementation of social distancing in terms of stewarding, markings, barriers, sanitising measures etc. There are many items of urgent support that can be included
NABMA is also pleased that its lobbying for inclusion of parish and town councils, as principal stakeholders in town centres with their ever increasing number of high street markets and events, is also recognised in the guidance.
The guidance would suggest that all market operators can bid to this new Fund. The full guidance can be viewed here
NABMA would like to be kept informed of bids being submitted by its membership. In the meantime we will continue to liaise with government and provide updates as soon as available.