Fife welcomes people back to town centres

Open for business! Spend local.

As lockdown is gradually eased, Fife Council is committed to supporting economic recovery across the region.

To prepare for the increase in footfall Fife council is rolling out signage and markings to help with queuing and physical distancing on our footpaths and precincts in Fife. The council will monitor the situation as shoppers return to each town centre to provide the right level of support to make sure everyone is kept safe.

Businesses and Fife Council are putting plans in place for shoppers and visitors returning in very different ways, with reduced capacity in business premises, queuing outside and the potential for some business to use outdoor space.

Cllr. Altany Craik, Convener - Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “Fife towns are starting to get back in business. Many residents have missed their local space, and are looking forward to seeing people face-to-face, shop and spend their time in their local town centre. We’d like to reassure local people that we’re working with businesses to keep local people, staff and our communities safe.

“Whilst our towns may look and feel a bit different, we are all looking forward to a return of some sort of normality, bringing vibrancy back to the town and boosting our local economy. Our businesses have done an amazing job to make sure they can open safely and so I would encourage people to support them if they can.

“Some businesses have already adapted by going online, offering click and collect or delivering services door-to-door. We’d like to thank Fifers for their patience, for spending local and staying safe by following the guidelines. It is important we all keep a safe distance from others, washing or sanitise our hands regularly and walk or cycle, if that is possible.”

The council is hoping that volunteers will also be on hand over coming weeks to provide advice and support to visitors – they will be keeping a particular eye out for any visitors who might need a bit of extra help.

Town centre survey for business

The council is developing recovery plans to help address the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on towns and local shopping centres across Fife. As part of this, the council is running a short survey for businesses, to inform how the council can help manage town centres safely for all www.fife.gov.uk/tc-recovery-survey

When travelling to and from town centres:

  • Walk, cycle or wheel to the high street rather than use public transport.
  • Keep your distance, protect yourself and others.
  • Only use public transport if you have no other option to visit high streets.

Click here for more information on businesses and Fife’s town centres

This has been an extremely tough time for many businesses. We have supported many businesses over lock down, including those that are town centre based, with Government financial support packages and with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Teams have processed over 5,000 Coronavirus Business Support applications and awarded over 4,500 eligible claims.  To date, we have paid out almost £50 million in grants to businesses across the region. A third phase of the Business Support Fund was launched on 8 June, providing additional support for some Fife businesses who have not been eligible to date.

The council has also spoken to many businesses about how they could safely operate takeaway services or continue to manufacture or sell essential goods through social distancing and hygiene practices. Businesses can visit www.fife.gov.uk/coronavirus-business to find out what help is available.

Fife Business Gateway is also available to provide support: https://www.businessgatewayfife.com/Coronavirus-Advice-Fife