Shrewsbury is open again and shoppers are being welcomed into the town centre with a variety of offers – including free parking in some car parks. 

Bunting, flags and posters are helping to create a festive atmosphere, and traders in Wyle Cop even shared a special celebration ‘welcome back’ cake to mark the occasion, baked by The Cafe on the Cop. 

Parking is free in Frankwell and Abbey Foregate car parks, and people are being encouraged to visit the town centre and support their local shops and businesses. 

High Street is closed to traffic from 11am to 6pm each day to create a central pedestrian zone, with people being able to socially distance by walking in the road, and there are plans to create seating areas for people to sit at a safe distance from each other and enjoy spending time in the town centre. 

Jonathan Soden, of The Soden Collection in Wyle Cop, said everyone was delighted to be open again. 

“It’s been a long time but people will feel confident enough to come back into town now,” he said. 

“A lot of work has gone into making the town safe – there are signs on the pavement advising people of social distancing, and every trader has the necessary measures in place to ensure safety. 

“We’re so excited to be open again and welcoming people back, we have missed seeing everyone. It feels a bit like the first day of school!” 

Michelle Gilchrist, of White Lotus Living in Wyle Cop, said there was a “fabulous atmosphere” in the town centre. 

She said: “I was very happy to be back, and you could tell that people were really pleased to be shopping again in a safe environment, and the road closures really helped with that. 

“It was great to have social interaction with people again, and to be able to help customers choose items for them and their home. 

“There was a fabulous atmosphere on the Cop with lots of space for people to walk at a safe distance from one another. It’s just great to see fellow independent shops open again.” 

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said everyone was working together to make the town safe and welcoming. 

“It’s wonderful to see people back in Shrewsbury and we are working hard with Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council to make the town centre as safe as possible,” he said. 

“It’s great that Shropshire Council is keeping Frankwell and Abbey Foregate car parks free for the time being, and we really hope people will make the most of that and come to visit the town centre. 

“A number of temporary interventions are in place to enable people to move around the town centre easily and maintain social distancing measures. 

“We are all monitoring the situation closely and any feedback from businesses and the public will be passed on to the council who will consider whether anything needs to change as we move forward. 

“I think everyone is just pleased to see shops and businesses open again, and we all need to play out part to ensure the virus does not spread and we can look to the future with optimism.”