Shop safely and support local traders

9:00am - 23 April 2021
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Shops have reopened, pubs are serving again, swimmers are back in the pool and a sense of normality is returning.

We’re now enjoying more opportunities to see friends and family but it’s important to take things slowly as normal life resumes over the coming months.

It’s great to see residents and businesses back in the high streets but we’re encouraging everyone to play their part and continue to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

If you are going shopping, supporting local businesses will really help North Somerset to recover.

There are many reasons to shop locally – it cultivates a unique identity for the High Street, businesses can stay open and employ local people, it keeps money circulating in the local economy, and it helps the environment by reducing delivery miles.

In Weston-super-Mare, a group of independent shops and eateries have been showcased as part of a large SuperWeston reopening campaign.

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Independent businesses have been showing off their SuperWeston ‘W’ hand signs, highlighting what they can offer to customers and why the town centre is a thriving place to visit.

Local photographer Paul Blakemore took the photos, posters were designed by Studio Monty, and a beautiful film was produced by local award-winning filmmaker Sally Low.

You can also find a host of independent shops to visit, places to go and things to do on the individual websites for other towns in North Somerset.

Visit Portishead has an illustrated guide, information about the town’s history and its arts and culture, as well as highlighting local eateries and independent shops.

Discover Clevedon lists the best eateries and shopping experiences in the town, as well as suggested activities for a fun family day out, PDFs of local walks, and more.

Nailsea People is an online directory of everything you need, from food and basics to banks and beauty.

Keep up-to-date with the SuperWeston campaign on the websiteFacebook or Instagram.

The campaign, fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is part of the town’s 10 year placemaking strategy which includes a set of themes and ambitions for the town around wellbeing, recreation, being green, low carbon, making it a great place to live work and study, and helping the local economy adjust to the fundamental changes accelerated by coronavirus.

Don’t miss out on grants

New one-off grants are now available for eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors – so make sure you get the money you’re entitled to.

The Chancellor announced the Restart Grant in the budget last month to help those businesses forced to close during the third lockdown.

The grant will give a much-needed boost to the sector and help support the recovery of the High Street.

The one-off payment replaces the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and grants are determined by business sector and rateable value.

We’ve contacted all ‘rated’ businesses that have historically been paid an LRSG grant with instructions on how to apply for the new Restart Grant.

An online form is also available for those that didn’t get the LRSG grant previously.

Contact our business helpline on 01934 888 114 for help navigating the grants available,  or email businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk

Council services now open

Leisure centres

You can now work up a sweat or go for a swim at one of our local leisure centres in North Somerset.

Visitors have returned to Hutton Moor in Weston-super-Mare, Scotch Horn in Nailsea, Parish Wharf at Portishead and Strode in Clevedon.

Backwell will reopen shortly so keep an eye on the website for updates.

Much-needed repairs have been carried out at the centres to ensure they were ready for reopening.

At Strode, the changing rooms have been improved, poolside tiles replaced, structural work carried out and new boilers installed.

Backwell has been closed for a year while extensive roof repairs and internal heating works have been carried out.   

Churchill Sports Centre hasn’t reopened because our contract with operators GLL has ended. We’re continuing to explore options for a sustainable future and find the best way forward.

Leisure centres play a vital role in improving people’s health and wellbeing but the pandemic has been a particularly challenging time for the sector.

We secured £470,000 from the National Leisure Recovery Fund to support our two leisure contractors while the centres were closed during the third lockdown, and we also gave financial assistance during last year’s lockdown.

Libraries

Libraries in North Somerset are now open for you to browse and borrow books and other items.

Libraries play a key role to play in local communities and they will help contribute to the social and cultural recovery from the pandemic.

Just remember the safety measures when you visit – sanitise your hands, cover your face and keep two metres away from others.

Opening hours may be restricted so check online before visiting.

The mobile library has also re-started its normal timetable.

If you don’t want to step inside a building, the non-contact click and collect service is still available, along with e-books, audio books, and e-magazines through the online service.