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Mr Ambassador! Jenkins gets the nod in bid to boost the Toon

Ambassador Allan Jenkins

TOWNS across the region are getting ambassadors to help get their economies firing on all cylinders again. In Stranraer, the ambassador is Allan Jenkins, well known through his work with the Stranraer Development Trust. Dumfries and Galloway Council say: "As part of our work to help restart town centres, we have put town centre ambassadors in place in our towns. "Allan will be out and about speaking to the community and business owners in Stranraer over next few weeks." The council says it wants to fast-track new idea to help get new life into urban areas and Continental-style pavement cafe culture could have have a role. Announcing the Town Centre Restart Task Force, they said: "The council recognises that restarting of our high streets and town centres will be a key factor in our economic recovery as we progress through the Government's route map and our economy starts to reopen. Our businesses have been hit hard, and we continue to do everything we can to help. "We have activated plans to prepare our town centres for an increase in activity so that they are safe environments for us all to enjoy the services of our local businesses." There are 17 town centres across Dumfries and Galloway, with Stranraer second in size after Dumfries. "We have formed a dedicated Town Centre Restart Task Force within the council to plan and prepare our town centres for safe reopening. "This team is looking at all aspects of safely reopening our town centres: business support, safe shopping, additional street cleansing, supporting communities, social distancing, and the needs of our town centre residents with as little upheaval as possible. "We are already distributing signage and carrying out cleansing programmes to our public spaces. "Our ambassadors will be easily identifiable and will be out and about on our streets, providing advice and answering queries. "We may need to make some necessary temporary adaptations so we can provide safe spaces for queuing and pedestrians. We will discuss any alterations with local communities and businesses, but ask that you please understand that modifications will be required in some places. "This could mean altering traffic flow or reducing parking spaces or litter bins by a small number to make space outside shops, but again, only where there is no alternative. We ask for patience and understanding, recognising that these temporary measures are necessary to create safe spaces for all in our town centres." Rob Davidson, Chair of Economy and Resources Committee said: “Since the start of Covid we have already paid out over £37m worth or grants to our local businesses to support them through the necessary closures. We have helped our communities and our most vulnerable to stay safe and provided support when needed to our partners. "The next step is to help get our local shops re-opened for business and to encourage people safely back to our town centres and High Streets. This has been an extremely challenging period for all of us, and we are looking forward to welcoming folk back into our local centres.” Vice Chair Archie Dryburgh said: “Never has it been more important to shop local but shop safe. We are doing as much as we are able to make sure that our town centres are safe places to be: encouraging community confidence in our spaces and asking that we all support our local shops. There will be some upheaval, but this will be unavoidable, but by working together with them community and shop owners recognising why this is necessary, we will get through this together.”

<< back Published: 06 Jul 2020, 16:21

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