The UK’s battle against COVID-19 has been hard fought, but the end is in sight after Boris Johnson stated that social distancing could be eased next month.
But the scars of the virus and the damage it has caused still remain in the city. Businesses across Canterbury have been hit hard by the national lockdowns, with many retailers now closed down.
Topman, Topshop, Monsoon and Game are only a few of over 40 different city centre businesses that have closed over the last twelve months, with a total of 13.4% of premises disused, which is more than it was when records began in 2012.
The people living within Canterbury have expressed their dismay at this turn of events as well.
“It’s a real shame, honestly,” 22-year-old Joe Morgan stated today. “I used to go to Yo! Sushi with my mates after class, but now it’s closed down. It was also nice to live near to a GAME, since I could click and collect. But that’s been shut down too.”
“I wanted to get my house keys cut, and I spent a good half an hour looking for Timpsons, but it’s old shop closed down and moved somewhere else in Canterbury” said Angela Furlong from Dover.
Canterbury’s Business Improvement District‘s chief executive Lisa Carlson has stated: “Reflecting the rest of the country, Canterbury’s high street has lost some businesses during the pandemic.
“It’s always hard to lose businesses, but even prior to COVID-19, there was more turnover and change, and continued investment in Canterbury.
“With proposals on several of the larger sites we expect the vacancy rate to drop significantly over the coming months.”
Despite all of the closures in Canterbury, there have been quite a few businesses opening, including Chuck and Blade, Kent Nails, Kokoro, Skechers and Smile Labo.
Let’s hope that this number increases over the next year, and the wounds of COVID-19 will fade away in time.