Bampton: A bustling town which has opened safely to visitors this Summer
Bampton is an historic charter town nestled on the edge of Exmoor National Park and is popular with locals and visitors, therefore it was important the right measures were put in place for the town to re-open safely.
The main street is long with wide paths which meant no one-way systems had to be put in place and the look of the town is very much untouched. The majority of businesses opened in June welcoming back their customers. Bampton has a variety of independent retailers, as well as a traditional pharmacy, greengrocers and butchers. It creates a picture postcard image of a town in Mid Devon and allows visitors to step back in time and experience some authentic stores.
Bampton has more than one award-winning pub to choose from and a number of cafes which have all re-opened, after becoming COVID-19 secure. The town is very popular with cyclists and walkers as it is on route 3 of the National Cycle Network, and surrounded by a number of circular walks, with stunning viewpoint’s, making it a perfect place to stop for a break.
Bampton heritage centre was able to re-open in August and provide free entry to their museum for visitors who want to learn more about the local history. The centre also provides guided walks out and around the town.
Its quaint setting makes Bampton an enjoyable place to shop and spend time exploring the area. The town centre has become COVID-19 secure following a grant from the European Regional Development Fund, which has funded safety measures. A group to assess and review the safety of Mid Devon's towns has overseen the provision of these measures. Signs are around the town to remind visitors of the latest government requirements.
Adrian Welsh, Group Manager for Growth, Economy and Delivery, said:
“A grant from the European Regional Development Fund has helped Bampton to re-open safely. As activities increase in the town centre we want to ensure we continue to minimise the risk of spreading the virus as much as possible. It is still important that all visitors adhere to government guidance with regard to social distancing measures, wearing a face covering, and follow the individual shop instructions to keep Bampton safe.’
Cllr Fouracres, Bampton’s Chairman said:
“Bampton is looking bright and cheerful with its hanging baskets and flower displays, a perfect setting for welcoming our residents and visitors back to our town centre. The shops have worked hard to comply with government guidance in order to re-open and now need the support of locals and visitors. Remember to shop local and shop safe in Bampton. With plenty of parking in Station Road Car Park (for a donation) it’s a relaxing experience coming into our town as you are not restricted by time. Unfortunately, our Charter Fair will not take place this year due to COVID-19 but the committee are already planning a big return for 2021.”
When coming into town, follow the signs and guidance, be patient of others and remember your mask. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms must remain at home and get tested – do not visit the town centre if you are unwell or have been in close contact with another person with symptoms.
A grant from the European Regional Development Fund has enabled the high streets to reopen safely. The project (either has received or is receiving up to) £73,686 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects, which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit gov.uk/european-growth-funding.