Reopening the high street

banner with spend local, stay safe message

COVID-19 update
Step four of the Government's Roadmap out of lockdown was met on July 19 which means restrictions have now been eased throughout England. Although most measures have been lifted, COVID-19 has not gone away. Infection numbers have increased throughout the District which means we must remain cautious and vigilant, so please remember 'Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air', even if you have been fully vaccinated. 

New tourism website for district- Visit South Cambs

Our new stand-alone website promoting tourism across South Cambridgeshire has now launched! 

Visit South Cambs supports the local economy by showcasing the area as a fantastic place to visit for traditional tourism, as well as the increasing number of staycations. It highlights the many attractions and open spaces we have to offer, along with great places to eat, drink and stay.

We would love to hear about any events taking place in South Cambridgeshire, and to hear from independent retailers and services operating in the tourist sector, such as galleries, gift shops, artisanal bakeries and businesses offering beauty treatments, spa facilities and personal care.

Apply to list your business or event free of charge

Supporting high street businesses

Following the first COVID-19 national lockdown, South Cambridgeshire District Council recruited High Street Business Support Officers to help local small to medium sized businesses recover and reopen. Since July 2020, our officers have provided hands-on support to over 500 high street businesses within the District, engaging with the reassembling of local community market events, and with an initiative to restore confidence to the high street and its customers.


Reopening team


Over a year into the project now, our team has signposted relevant Government guidelines in relation to the Roadmap out of lockdown to as many local businesses as possible. Even after step four on July 19, our team is continuing to work on ensuring businesses remain safe to visit and open.

Additionally, they have circulated window signage and floor stickers to help promote the Council's "Shop local, stay safe" motto, as well as the Government’s “Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air” message. This builds on huge efforts made by business owners throughout the district to rejuvenate trade and ensure they are as COVID-19 Secure as possible.

We know local business owners have adapted to ever-changing guidance, but the Reopening the High Streets Safely Team remains here to offer continued support. Whether your business reopened from April 12 onwards or was classed as essential and remained open during the last year, our team is there to assist.

As of July 19, restrictions have relaxed but the virus is still with us. The Reopening team would therefore recommend still observing previous guidelines to reduce infection numbers across the District. So, if you are a small to medium customer-facing enterprise in South Cambridgeshire, and require advice from our High Street Officers, please contact the team:

Here are some examples of ways in which our High Street Business Support Officers have helped in the last year:

  • Directing business to resources to help them complete comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessments, and to make sure you have covered what you need to keep staff and customers safe
  • Clarification of relevant sector regulations, ensuring businesses have understood and taken all practical steps to help people work safely from a "COVID-19 Secure" workspace
  • Supporting businesses to implement measures to ensure employees and customers are able to maintain a two-metre distance and creating one-way systems where appropriate
  • Offering advice on deep-cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with current guidance for various workplaces such as gyms, hairdressers and beauticians
  • Supplying general signage to support COVID-19 best practice and emphasise the “Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air” message
  • Being that first point of contact at South Cambridgeshire District Council for enquiries such as changing guidance and how it may affect your business, support grant enquiries or social media promotions


Case studies

The Farmland Museum & Denny Abbey, Waterbeach

Preparing for reopening isn't always as easy as it sounds, and our officers assisted The Farmland Museum in Waterbeach who requested support on how best to prepare their site for visitors once again.Farmland museum

Ensuring that social distancing guidelines were followed in the cafeteria, one-way systems were devised in certain exhibitions, and additional cleaning and capacity controls on children's outdoor play areas were all judiciously assessed. For a museum which attracts people from far and wide, having these measures in place shed light on some grey areas Denny Abbey were unsure of initially.



Hairs & Graces, Harston 

Like all close contact businesses, Hairs & Graces of Harston have suffered with being in lockdown and unable to trade. Tracy and the team decided to be proactive and make the most of their time by improving facilities at their salon. One way of making the salon COVID-19 Secure was increasing ventilation by opening up the rear of the salon to a wonderful garden area for clients to relax. Spacing between each work station has been improved giving added security to both customers and staff. The team also share regular lateral flow tests results to ensure not just their safety, but that of their customers too.



photo of the exterior of the Willingham Auctions Cafe in Willingham

Willingham Auctions Café, Willingham

In addition to signposting the business owner towards potential funding opportunities such as the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) and organisations providing further support such as the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Growth Hub, we were able to answer specific questions the business owner had regarding the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme last year, and which of the Willingham Auction Café’s offerings were eligible. Furthermore, we were a direct point of contact when other queries arose regarding updating the company's self-isolation procedure, should an employee develop COVID-19 symptoms.


European Regional Development Fund

The project received up to £140,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.


European Regional Development Fund logoHM Government logo

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