Canterbury Bid

Reopening Canterbury City Centre

A photo of six people posing for a photo, socially distanced, celebrating the reopening of Canterbury City Centre

Canterbury City’s Centre is ready for reopening with the Business Improvement District (BID) team, local authority and colleges banding together to give returning visitors a warm welcome.

Through the Reopening of the High Streets Safely (RHSS) Project, Canterbury City Council, Canterbury BID and the Canterbury School of Visual Arts (CSVA) at EKC Group’s Canterbury College have worked in collaboration during lockdown to ensure safety messages remind visitors to maintain social distance measures and are clear and visible to support the transition out of lockdown whilst offering a warm welcome back.

The safety messaging will be displayed on 400 pavement vinyls within the city, 50 lamp posts signs on the approach into the city, high street banners and bollard covers. In addition Canterbury BID will be installing 2.5km of bunting around the city centre (after HRH Prince Philip’s funeral) to welcome people and show colourful support to local businesses.

Caroline Hicks, Head of Property and Regeneration at Canterbury City Council said,

“We are hugely excited that our businesses can start to reopen once again and we can welcome visitors back to Canterbury. In support of our town and city centres, it is vital that we proceed with caution. Our aim is to ensure that everybody is completely clear on the latest government guidance and it is paramount that safety rules are still followed so we can proceed along the roadmap.

“To that end, we asked students from Canterbury School of Visual Arts at Canterbury College to design our safety pavement vinyls that can be seen throughout the city. This eye-catching design unites the city’s personality with a serious underlying message and is also a reflection of our community working together.

“Collaboration has been key in helping get Canterbury prepared and the BID team has done an amazing job of working closely with our businesses ahead of reopening and making Canterbury look as colourful and welcoming as it does today. It’s been a good team effort all round and we are looking forward to the next stage of the roadmap once we have successfully passed this significant milestone.”

Lockdown across the city has also been put to good use with deep street cleans, installation of free WiFi across the city and £700k investment in improved CCTV. 

Lisa Carlson, Chief Executive of the BID said,

“Today marks another step forward in reopening our beautiful city as we witness more businesses open for trading. We have welcomed 23 new businesses over the past year and we are feeling positive and energised about the year ahead and confident that we can encourage visitors and residents alike to shop and dine in Canterbury, within a safe and welcoming environment.

“At a time when social distancing is still paramount to ensure we progress along the roadmap, Canterbury has so much to offer for those seeking a holiday vibe. You’re never more than five minutes from a park or garden and there’s everything from river tours to alfresco dining plus a fantastic mix of shops to explore. We are looking forward to seeing many people enjoying Canterbury and all its local attractions and businesses once again.”

Ben Kidger, Head of Canterbury School of Visual Arts (CSVA) at Canterbury college added,

“We at CSVA were delighted to have been approached to put the design of one of these pavement vinyls to our students. Coincidentally, the students were engaged in a project where they had to discover the demographics of our city, so this project accompanied their research very well.

“The exceptionally talented Bianca Albeanu’s design was chosen from our UAL Level 3 Art and Design course, that design was then ‘art worked’ by Amber Fielding from or Graphic Design course – a true collaboration between Art and Graphics. The project is indicative of CSVA’s aim to be at the heart of our community.”

Find out more about Canterbury’s reopening and recovery plans HERE

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