Getting ready for re-opening

Morpeth is among the Northumberland market towns set to see more activity from Saturday as pubs, restaurants and hairdressers are among businesses that will be able to re-open, providing they adhere to Covid Secure guidelines.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 1:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 1:51 pm
Staff at the Black Bull pub in Morpeth have been getting the venue ready for re-opening on Saturday.
Staff at the Black Bull pub in Morpeth have been getting the venue ready for re-opening on Saturday.

This follows on from shops selling what are classed as non-essential goods re-opening in mid-June and a local business group is hopeful that the town’s recovery will pick up further momentum.

Morpeth Chamber of Trade vice chairman Lee Richardson said: “Morpeth has supported its local businesses since the re-opening of non-essential retail earlier in June, with traders reporting great numbers back out shopping whilst maintaining all the measures that have been put in place locally and nationally.

“It’s great to see our message of Stay Safe, Stay Local working.

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“Having been in the town on several occasions, Morpeth has a great feel about the place once again. Traders have gone to great effort to ensure the safety of shoppers whilst they return to a new normal.

“I repeat an earlier comment – it is inspiring how well the traders of Morpeth have adapted to the current situation and have come back as strong as ever keeping our high street going.

“As for the re-opening of some leisure and hospitality, we are all cautiously optimistic for the future, and I personally and on behalf of Morpeth Chamber or Trade would like to thank all of our traders, and their staff members, who have contributed to getting Morpeth back to where it is today.”

Black Bull in Bridge Street, which became part of Blackrose last year, is among the pubs that will re-open on Saturday.

Nicole Vanzie, group operations director of Blackrose Pubs, said: “Some of the steps to re-open the pub include a mobile app, which guests will be invited to download so they can order and pay at table whilst bar service is not available.

“We have put in place hand sanitiser stations, disposable menus and condiments, and making PPE available to staff and guests. Plus a comprehensive training program for all of our staff so they are equipped to keep their guests safe.

“Light-hearted signage in the Black Bull will remind guests of what they need to do to keep everyone safe without being too intrusive; like keeping their distance and the fact that staff will be cleaning every 15 minutes.

“We want to take this opportunity to say that you are safe to return and that we will look after you when you do.

“Our general manager, Dawn, is one of our most experienced general managers, so the people of Morpeth are in safe hands.”

Also addressing the fact that some tourism businesses will be allowed to re-open from Saturday as well, Morpeth town councillor and Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Wansbeck Jack Gebhard said: “Thanks to the efforts of the British people to control the virus, I am glad our Government has created the space to allow people to take a much-needed holiday and enjoy everything the Wansbeck constituency and the wider county has to offer.

“I hope people get out to support tourism and hospitality businesses that are re-opening, which are so vital to our local economy and jobs.

“Safety is of paramount importance and it is vital that social distancing rules and safety guidance are adhered to, and local people as well as our guests feel safe, which I hope our Government will continue to focus on.”