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Free parking offered after supermarket fire

PUBLISHED: 14:28 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:28 24 June 2020

North Norfolk District Council leader, Sarah Bütikofer, and councillor Richard Kershaw, discuss aiding the town after the Budgens of Holt fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

North Norfolk District Council leader, Sarah Bütikofer, and councillor Richard Kershaw, discuss aiding the town after the Budgens of Holt fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Free parking is being offered in Holt in response to a devastating fire that destroyed the town’s only supermarket and post office.

The damage after the devastating fire at Budgens of Holt. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe damage after the devastating fire at Budgens of Holt. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Motorists will not have to pay for the first two hours of parking at the town’s Albert Street and Station Yard car parks, from now until the end of July.

Budgens supermarket burned down on the evening of June 20, and its site, along with its much-used car park on Kerrige Way, are currently off limits.

Sarah Butikofer, North Norfolk District Council leader, said: “The town of Holt has a relatively small residential population and the local high street economy is therefore reliant on visitors, second home owners and parents of pupils attending Gresham’s to supplement trading.

“The lockdown has therefore had a marked impact as none of these groups of people have been present to shop locally in Holt.

A drone photo of the fire at Budgens of Holt.   Photo: O BirchA drone photo of the fire at Budgens of Holt. Photo: O Birch

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“Added to this, the loss of the town’s only supermarket to fire last weekend underlines even more the need to support the local business community and introduce two hours’ free parking at our car parks, to help attract more shoppers back to the town.”

MORE: ‘Pop up’ post office could be part of town’s recovery from supermarket fire

A Love Holt spokesman said the message that the town is once again open for business as the lockdown eases.

The spokesman said measures being taken include: Systems for queuing and ‘please wait here’ decals on pavements; hand sanitiser stations throughout the town; signage on the bypass road and banners around the town.

They said estate agent, Sowerbys, has offered to produce a film promoting the message that ‘Holt is open’ at the end of June/start of July, which could be shared on social media.

Mrs Butikofer added: “While encouraging people to support the local shops in Holt, we would of course remind all visitors to shop safely and adhere to all the relevant social distancing regulations, local signage and guidance from store staff.

MORE: ‘Treated like a VIP’- When I opened Budgens of Holt

“Visitors will need to ensure they follow the guidelines displayed in the carparks to qualify for the free parking.”

Meanwhile, an appeal for people to “show their appreciation” to the employees of Holt’s Budgens supermarket has now raised more than £5,500. The appeal, which can be found on www.crowdfunder.co.uk, aims to boost the morale of workers at a business that has had community and charity at the centre of its ethos for 35 years.


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