Kettering town centre parking will be free until at least end of July

It will then be reassessed

Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 6:00 am
The municipal office car park. Picture by Alison Bagley.

Parking in council-owned car parks in Kettering will stay free until at least the end of July, it has been confirmed.

Charges were suspended on March 25 because of the coronavirus pandemic with only essential shops remaining open.

The town centre has been busier since dozens of non-essential shops were allowed to open their doors again last week, and it is likely to get even busier when pubs and restaurants can start trading again from July 4 after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement yesterday (Tuesday).

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And when shoppers come to Kettering town centre they will still be able to park for free until the end of July. Kettering Council say they will reassess it then.

The council has taken a number of steps to keep our high streets safe with efforts to tackle the virus ongoing.

New floor stickers have been introduced to help social distancing.

There will be an enhanced cleaning regime, with the council's street cleansing team disinfecting bins and benches. Wardens are out and about in Kettering, Burton Latimer, Desborough and Rothwell and the environmental health team is monitoring the town centre to identify concerns and pinch points.

The bus shelters in Eskdaill Street are being altered with some panels being removed to make it easier to keep your social distance.

Markets are back and have moved to the Market Place, where they remain until further notice to ensure stalls are not blocking the high street and have more space. There is currently no charge for market stalls and the council has helped traders set up hand sanitation stations.

Council officers say they are looking to improve the street scene including signage and promotional material, as well as delivering public realm improvements through Kettering’s Heritage Action Zone programme (HAZ) and providing a programme of entertainment to encourage footfall whilst maintaining social distance.

They are looking for local street entertainers, musicians, buskers, dancers, acrobats and more to entertain visitors to our town centres. If you think you’ve got what it takes, contact [email protected]

Cllr Mark Dearing, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “As Kettering borough’s town centres are reopening to the public, we’re working closely with businesses and encouraging visitors to stay safe and shop local.

"All possible measures have been put in place to help create a very safe and pleasurable shopping experience and I encourage people to support local businesses, now they have reopened, to help them get back on track.”

Rochelle Mathieson, head of commercial development at Kettering Council, said: "A huge amount of work has gone into helping get high streets ready for re-opening and I thank all those involved in putting these essential measures in place so quickly.

"Local businesses have been devastated by this pandemic and it is so important for our local economy, local employment and business owners, that we do all we can to ensure they can open safely and start to trade again.”