Thurrock Council Leader, Cllr Rob Gledhill, has welcomed news that the council will receive over £155,000 from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, to help kick-start the high street back in to business as the pandemic lockdown eases.
Cllr Gledhill said: "The government has done everything possible to keep residents safe and support business through this terrible pandemic. So far Thurrock businesses have benefited from nearly £60m of business rates relief, and Government has allocated over £23m in grants to help small businesses and those in the entertainment industry.
"To hear at the weekend that we will receive just over £155,000 extra grant to help our high streets open up and operate safely is really good news. We will be engaging with those who operate on our high streets to see how this money can be best spent."
The announcement on Sunday of the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund is intended to help public spaces be revived, businesses to restart and people to return safely to their retail jobs to help the economy get back on track. With the Prime Minister announcing that open-air markets can re-open on Monday 1 June and the majority of other shops, excluding restaurants and pubs opening on Monday 15 June, time is of the essence.
Cllr Gledhill added: "With most towns in Thurrock having a high street or shopping areas, this most welcome cash injection will come as a boost to those businesses. We will quickly engage with those who have businesses on the high street and those who run shopping centres to see how the money can be best used to support them opening up safely in the next few weeks.
"Even though many shops will reopen, we must still stay alert so as not to create a second wave of infection and abide by the social distancing guidance given by government and put in place by our local retailers."
Go to GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19) for the latest government information, including up-to-date advice and guidance for businesses that can open.