The Welcome Back Fund is money allocated to encourage the safe return of residents and businesses to high streets in local areas as we recover from the impact of COVID-19.
The fund, developed by the government as part of the COVID-19 response, comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and aims to support the country's high streets and tourist attractions in welcoming people back.
In Manchester, the fund has supported:
- The creation of COVID-19 safety lamppost banners in Cheetham Hill, Harpurhey, Moston, Wythenshawe, offering advice on wearing facemasks and social distancing
- Floor stickers at Levenshulme Market
- Lamppost banners on Moston Lane high street in Moston, encouraging people to use their local businesses under the Moston Matters project
- Covid Response Team (September 2020 to June 2021) provided advice, support and guidance for small businesses across Manchester to either continue to trade safely during lockdown or reopen safely and with confidence as restrictions eased
- Thankyou Weekend Event 14 and 15 August - a free fun filled festival of thanks and entertainment on the streets and squares of Manchester City Centre to help open up and welcome people back to the city following COVID-19 restrictions being lifted
- Winter Gardens - Board Walk at Piccadilly Gardens (November and December 2021) - a widely accessible, safe and relaxed environment and venue location for shoppers and visitors to enjoy the local festive offers
- The Manchester Irish Weekender, at Piccadilly Gardens (17 to 20 March 2022) - a free four-day music and street food event helping to celebrate St Patrick's Day in addition to the citywide community-organised Irish Festival activities
- City & District Centre street cleaning and graffiti removal (August 2021 to March 2022) - deep cleansing/power washing of high street/areas in Manchester City Centre and district centres and also additional graffiti removal service as part of support for the high street recovery post-lockdown.