Venues across the city centre are about to join retail colleagues in reopening their doors for indoor custom.

More than 50 venues across the city centre will reopen from the 17th of May to welcome customers back for some safer socialising.

The BID has created a simple microsite listing all the venues which will re-open at – the site provides direct links to the venues’ social channels to check opening times and to see if bookings are advised.

Mark Whittle from Preston BID said: “We’ve been meeting regularly with venues, the Police and City Council to ensure everything is in place for the safe return of bars, restaurants, pubs, and hotels, operating indoors.

“Venue owners, managers, and their teams, have worked incredibly hard over the last month to offer a great outdoor experience, which has been enjoyed by many people. As we look forward to venues reopening indoors, we are confident that customers will support local businesses by returning and enjoying themselves responsibly”.

Serena Baxter, Chair of Preston’s Pubwatch group said: “The 17th May sees the city’s hospitality options increase, this time, without having to tackle the unpredictable British weather!

“For those venues who haven’t yet been open in such a long time, it really is their chance to shine; they have been thoroughly missed.

“The response from reopening outdoors on the 12th April has been nothing short of fantastic. We expect a continuous upward lift of energy and excitement over these coming weeks as people safely return.

“Operators are really pleased to be returning to doing what they do best, welcoming customers back inside Preston’s award-winning leisure venues”.

The microsite also features a short video outlining what customers can expect upon their return as a result of venues operating under government guidance.

This includes track and trace for all customers, table service only, and masks being a requirement when moving around the premises.

Employers: Keep It Local


Preston BID is encouraging employers in the area to consider rewarding staff with the Preston Gift Card for Christmas this year, keeping money local and supporting local economic recovery.

A survey published in HR Review found that less than one fifth of UK companies are planning an office Christmas party for 2020.  Ongoing restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic mean that many employers are looking for new ways to reward their staff for their dedication during a challenging year.

The Preston Gift Card can be redeemed at more than 50 places in the city centre, from independents to national brands, and the list is growing daily.

The Card is available for employers to purchase from £10-£500. Recipients of the Preston Gift Card can use the card like local currency, in one transaction or many, and on retail, hospitality, services and leisure.

Each Preston Gift Card is a prepaid Mastercard which is valid for 12 months from purchase, offering employers a secure way to gift.  Cards can be purchased online and delivered straight to the recipient. Employers can make bulk orders of the gift card directly with Preston BID.

Employers in the area who reward staff with the Preston Gift Card can take advantage of the UK trivial benefits scheme.  A business can give an employee a benefit of up to £50 without paying tax, but only if the benefit isn’t in cash!

The Preston Gift Card is delivered in partnership with Miconex, an award-winning company specialising in destination Gift Cards.

The Gift Card and Voucher Association valued the UK gift card market at £7bn in 2019, also reporting that 98.6% of gift cards are spent within a year of being received and 65% will be spent on top of the value of the card received. The Incentive Research Foundation research placed gift card programmes at the top of incentive wish lists for employees.

Jonathan Halton of Preston BID said that the Preston Gift Card is a socially conscious choice for employers wanting to support Preston whilst giving their staff a reward they will appreciate:

“There are approximately 100,000 adults living in the city of Preston. If each adult in the city buys, or is gifted, a £10 Preston Gift Card, that is over £1m that we would lock into Preston, which would have a huge impact on disposable income and employment.”

Businesses can register their bulk pre-orders NOW, by emailing – or calling (01772) 653000.

The gift card will be on general sale later this month!

City Centre Businesses

During the current lockdown, the businesses below are open as essential stores, or operating a click and collect/takeaway service as permitted.

B&M Bargains
Banana King
Broadhurst Optometrists
Café Nero Fishergate (takeaway)
Café Nero Friargate (takeaway)
Cash Generator
Cell Fix (CC)
Cooperative Bank
Costa Fishergate (takeaway)
Costa StGeorges Shopping Centre (takeaway)
Cumberland Building Society
EN Newsagent
Falafel Express
Food Warehouse
Greenhalghs (CC)
Green Pheasant (CC)
Greggs Fishergate (takeaway)
Greggs Orchard Street (takeaway)
Greggs St Georges Shopping Centre (takeaway)
H&T Pawnbrokers
Heron Foods
Holland & Barrett Fishergate
Holland & Barrett St Georges Shopping Centre
Home Bargains
Hot Potato Tram
Jonahs (takeaway)
KFC (takeaway)
Kenworthy Chiropractic
Kim Ji
King Dumpling (takeaway)
Krispy Kreme (takeaway)
La Viva (takeaway)
Lancaster Road Pharmacy
Lonely People (takeaway)
Mr Lams
M&S Food Hall
McDonalds Friargate (takeaway)
Max Spielman (CC)
Ministry of Vapes
No. 10
Nandos (Takeaway)
Nationwide Building Society
Next (CC)
Ocean (CC)
Office (CC)
Plau (takeway)
Potato Tram
Post Office
Pound bakery
Pound Plus
Preston Market (selected traders)
Priest Town Brewing
Ravenous (takeaway)
Rise (takeaway)
Secret Garden (CC)
Skipton Building Society
Specsavers (Appt.)
Starbucks (takeaway)
Subway Friargate (takeaway)
T J Hughes
Taste (takeaway)
Tesco Church Street
Tesco Friargate
The Range
Theatre Street Bar & Grill (takeaway)
Totally Wicked (CC)
Townhouse (takeaway)
Virgin Money
Vision Express
Western Computers (CC)
WH Smith
Wings & Beer (takeaway)
Yorkshire Building Society

This list is subject to change, please check directly with outlets before you visit

CC = Click and Collect



Furloughed Workers

Can employees who are certified as sick be made furloughed workers?

Further details will be made available by the government soon.


Can employees who are off on any other leave e.g. Sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave be made furloughed workers?

Further details will be made available by the government soon. It is likely there will be specific rules for employees on maternity leave and receiving statutory maternity pay.


What options do we have to give our employees alongside the option to become a furloughed worker e.g. statutory redundancy?

The idea behind the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is for businesses to retain employees during the period in order that they can bring them back when the business situation improves (subject to the current scheme duration)


Can employees work for other employers whilst furloughed e.g. supermarkets, NHS?

Furloughed employees cannot work for you during this period and their NI number will be supplied to HMRC. This is a unique identifier so unless their work was voluntary and unpaid, we would not expect them to be able to work for other organisations. They still remain your employees


Will employees continue to accrue annual leave while furloughed?



Will PAYE continue to be deducted in the normal way?

We are still awaiting the details, but the scheme is not intended to make employees financially better off so would expect PAYE to be deducted


Can Trade Unions negotiate on behalf of all employees in a collective agreement situation?

Yes, this is possible where such an agreement is in place


Can we deduct pension, and other voluntary deductions from furloughed workers pay?

We are still awaiting further guidance of exactly how the scheme will work in this regard


Can employees intermittently be furloughed, punctuated by periods of paid holiday or working?

We are still awaiting further guidance but would doubt whether the scheme can be switched on and off regularly. Employees will continue to accrue annual leave whilst furloughed

Will other periods of authorised absence be suspended during this time eg maternity leave?

Furlough is a temporary lay off and in this case the government have undertaken to pay up to 80% of salary as a mechanism to prevent mass unemployment where an employee may be expected to resume work again in the future. It will not replace other schemes such as Maternity leave which will remain in place. Most of the SMP can be recovered


Do I need to top up the other 20%?

You can fund the difference if you wish but there is no obligation to do this under the scheme


Who is Covered by the scheme?

All that has been announced so far is that it covers furloughed employees. Therefore, it does not cover:

self-employed individuals whether working as a sole trader or through a partnership or LLP.

Workers who are working on personal contracts but do not satisfy the conditions to be an employee (those with no holiday or sick pay entitlement)

These people will have to rely on the benefits system to assist them during this period.



Prestfest – Date Change


The organisers of Prestfest, a headline event in the city’s calendar to promote Preston’s award-winning leisure scene, have confirmed that the event is to be postponed in the interest of minimising any potential spread of the Coronavirus.

The event, scheduled to take place on the Flag Market on Saturday June 6th, will now take place in the same location on Saturday 5th September, as will the free Prestfest for Families event.

Despite the Government not yet issuing instructions to postpone or cancel mass gatherings, organisers have taken the proactive step to ensure attendees, and the wider city centre, are not affected by any cancellation instructions closer to the event.

Stacey Penney, the BID’s night economy representative said: “Steps like this are not considered lightly, the decision to postpone the event has been taken simply as a precaution given public concern around the Coronavirus.  We have considered all information available to us and have decided to move the event to September 5th.”

Mark Whittle from Preston BID added: “The welfare and safety of attendees, and that of the city centre users at large, are our primary concerns – naturally we are disappointed to have to move the event, but in the interest of reducing any potential risk of impact from mass gatherings, or on front line services, we feel it is the practical thing to do.

“Almost 1,000 guests who have already purchased tickets to the event will be offered replacement tickets for September 5th, those who are unable to make the new date will be offered a refund”.

The city’s stores, bars, restaurants, clubs and hotels continue to operate as normal.

Anyone with any questions is asked to email:


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against all travel to Hubei Province, where the outbreak started, and all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. It also advises British nationals in China to leave, more HERE.

The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development has produced a fact sheet, which sets out how employers should respond to the threat from coronavirus. To download it, click here.

The World Health Organisation has more detailed information including videos on best practice and posters to download to inform your workforce. There’s also a useful myth-buster section and advice on when face masks are appropriate. Click HERE.

This covers the situation in the UK, provides information about the virus and outlines the action the Government is taking to prevent its spread.

The NHS has a concise guide to coronavirus setting out how it is spread, how to avoid catching it, symptoms, treatment and what to do if you think you or any of your employees might be infected. Details HERE.

The official guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care, and Public Health England, is here.

Guidance for employers, click HERE.

Preventative measures for employees, click HERE.

Guidance for staff in the transport sector, click HERE.