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Spalding town centre on slow journey back to normality, based on current footfall

Shop owners in an area of Spalding town centre and market traders have admitted that the town is on a slow journey back to normality.

Retailers in The Crescent have seen a quiet return to trading since non-essential shops were allowed to reopen six weeks ago following the coronavirus lockdown in March.

But shoppers are taking their time to come back to the range of fashion, antique and sweet retailers in The Crescent, with a noticeable drop in footfall since reopening day on June 15.

Market day in Spalding on Tuesday.Photo by Chris Lowndes. (39431342)
Market day in Spalding on Tuesday.Photo by Chris Lowndes. (39431342)

Karen Scotney, of the Candy Bar, said: "It was very quiet when reopened and although it's slightly improved, footfall is nowhere near where it was before lockdown.

"A lot of people are still frightened of coming out, but everybody down here has got the safety measures in place.

"We're all doing our little bit but it's going to take time to build people's confidence up to come out again."

Mark Dawson, of M&M Antiques and Collectables, said: "Things are picking up gradually but I'm not in full flow yet.

"The usual customers don't come in as regularly as they did before and The Crescent is quiet, although the one-way system here hasn't helped."

Susan Brewer, of Love to Sew, said: "We've lost all of the events we'd normally have like school proms, christenings and weddings.

"But it's getting better and we're probably doing about half of our normal level of business."

Market day in Spalding on Tuesday.Photo by Chris Lowndes. (39431353)
Market day in Spalding on Tuesday.Photo by Chris Lowndes. (39431353)

Market stalls reappeared in Spalding town centre on Tuesday, June 16, after measures were put in place to ensure social distancing.

But street traders in Market Place and Sheep Market have reported varying numbers of shoppers over the last six weeks.

Patrick Harris, whose Attleleck Market stall sells socks and underwear, said: "When the market first reopened, there seemed to be more people about.

"But it's very quiet now and there's hardly a soul walking about on the high streets."

Craig Lyons, of The Spice Market, said: "Things have gradually been getting busier and I've been encouraged by people spending a little bit more money.

"But there aren't as many people about and we need all the support we can get."

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