What shopping in Burnley town centre will look like on June 15th

It will be 'business as almost usual' when Burnley town centre reopens more stores later this month as the easing of lockdown continues.
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Non-essential businesses will begin to reopen on Monday, June 15th – so long as they can meet the government social distancing guidelines – with Charter Walk bosses implementing a number of measures to ensure shoppers' safety.

The centre is home to around 85 stores, many of which are classed as essential and have remained open during lockdown. These include Superdrug, Holland & Barrett and Home Bargains.

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However, from June 15th, there will be several changes to the way people shop.

Some non-essential stores will be reopening in Charter Walk on June 15th. Photo: Kelvin StuttardSome non-essential stores will be reopening in Charter Walk on June 15th. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Some non-essential stores will be reopening in Charter Walk on June 15th. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

All but three entrances to the shopping centre will be closed to ensure the flow and volume of visitors can be controlled. These entrances at Wilko, Pandora and Bankfield Passageway, to the side of Poundland, will be open and manned by staff, who will ensure footfall is controlled and hand sanitiser is provided.

There will be social distancing signs and markers, and shoppers will be encouraged to keep left when moving around the centre. Hand sanitiser will not only be provided at the entrances, but also at various points across Charter Walk.

In addition, the benches have been removed to help with hygiene, but also to prevent people from gathering in larger groups. Any individuals who feel they need a quiet space to rest should approach a Charter Walk team member, who will take them to a designated quiet area.

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The toilets are not currently open, but the situation is being assessed as to how they can safely open with regular cleaning.

During the pandemic, cleaning regimes have increased, particularly of touch points like hard surfaces and door handles, and Charter Walk staff and businesses have been thoroughly briefed to ensure both themselves and customers are protected as much as possible.

Debbie Hernon, Charter Walk Shopping Centre manager, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming more shoppers back to the centre and it is the priority of our team to make sure everyone feels safe.

"We are conscious that many people may feel wary about heading back to the town centre with lockdown restrictions eased, but we want to reassure shoppers that a great deal of steps and planning has been undertaken to make the experience as safe and comfortable as possible.

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“We ask that people follow the signs and markers in place and be patient and kind to one another and our businesses during this time. We would like to remind people to also maintain good personal hygiene, by using tissues and the bins provided, as well as the hand sanitiser provided at the entrances and around the centre.

“Of course, we also ask people to support Burnley town centre during this time, to shop local with us where possible and to make sure they approach one of our friendly and fully-trained team members should they require assistance.”

People are advised to regularly visit the Charter Walk website and social media channels before their shopping trip to find out the latest guidance.

Burnley Market is also looking to get back to relatively normal trading conditions.

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Sharp’s Butchers, J & A Fruit and Haffner’s are three businesses that have reopened recently while Wok This Way and Kerpow back open and selling cooked food through a takeaway service.

From Monday, June 15th, other non-food stalls will reopen, except for those who provide beauty services who will reopen when government guidance changes.

Burnley Market will be open for shoppers between 9am and 4pm every day except Tuesdays and Sundays.

Those heading to the market will need to enter from the lift and stairs in Charter Walk and leave via the former Holden’s exit and down the ramp. To ensure a manageable one-way system and social distancing, the escalator entrance and Curzon Street steps entrance will be closed temporarily.

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People should queue on the balcony, abiding by the social distancing markers, with currently, a maximum of 20 customers allowed into the market at one time - this will be monitored and reviewed regularly.

Like in Charter Walk, the entrance and exit will be staffed, and hand sanitiser will be available. Shoppers are asked to be considerate of others and to follow the directional arrows of the one-way system.

Burnley Market businesses encourage customers to phone in their orders prior to visiting to help reduce waiting times; people can find out the information they require on the Burnley Market website.

The toilet facilities, children’s rides, vending machines and the weighing machine are closed temporarily, and benches and the rest area are also unavailable. Again, people are encouraged to approach a member of staff if they feel they need a quiet space in which to rest.

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While the eating area is currently closed, work is being undertaken to extend this area so that when guidelines permit, it can reopen with wider social distancing in place.

Coun. Gordon Birtwistle said: "Burnley's town centre has started to re-open its doors to serve the people of the town again after the lockdown period, and it is clear our residents appreciate using and supporting local businesses more than ever.

"The strict hygiene and social distancing procedures in place make Burnley town centre a safe and hopefully enjoyable shopping experience. It is really important at this time that people support their town centre, particularly smaller independent shops.

"We are also reopening the market, where traders supply fresh, locally-sourced produce and unique products, and a friendly welcoming atmosphere awaits our customers. We would like to encourage anyone local who hasn't perhaps fully explored our town centre to come and see what we have to offer, and we would hope to welcome them back time and time again."