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The good stuff happening in our Town

With headlines about shops and restaurants closing in Newbury dominating much of the news, we thought it was worth shouting about some of the good stuff that is happening.

The Corn Exchange will reopen on Saturday 5 September with a performance of Unlocked and Unbolted, a new performance written and directed by Bryn Holding to reflect the thoughts and feelings of young people during the lockdown period. Inspired by a series of online conversations, an ensemble of young performers aged 16 – 21 will present this physically distanced performance, either to a socially distanced audience or as a broadcast to be watched from home, depending on the current guidelines for the theatre industry.

The Newbury Youth Work project will deliver 12 hours a week of detached work across Newbury, aiming to reach 750 youths per annum. The Project aims to support young people on the streets of Newbury, focussing on young people between the ages of 13-19. The aim will be to protect and provide appropriate information and advice to vulnerable young people. The project will work in partnership with other agencies to enhance the life chances of young people and reduce the incidence of anti-social behaviour.

Eat Out to Help Out so many businesses across Newbury have benefited from this scheme. Among them are the Dolphin who told us that lots of new and old faces are returning to the pub. They also said "lots of people are going for the real treats (prawns or surf and turf) as opposed to just the standard dishes at half price."

Lots of big businesses and independents have reopened. Among the chains are Vue who put cinema tickets back on sale ahead today ahead of their reopening later this month. Colline's Kitchen in the Market Place will also cook up more of her popular treats within days when it reopens. The owner of the Catherine Wheel decided to open up the Spare Wheel last month.

Businesses planning for the future. We are seeing many businesses looking to invest in the Town. Lidl wants to increase its footprint with a bigger store on London Road. A leisure business is considering opening up in the Kennet Centre at the former Debenhams store and according to the Parkway, there has been interest from a number of parties in relation to the former John Lewis store.

The West Berkshire Community Support Hub would like to thank the 90 community and volunteer groups it has been working closely with to support residents during the coronavirus lockdown. The Community Support Hub has been linking individuals in need to the services available from these groups, who represent nearly 3,000 volunteers across the district.

Let us know what other good things are happening here in Newbury....

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