Crowngate Shopping Centre is supporting the Worcester News' Love Local Business campaign, which encourages our readers to spend their money locally to help traders recover from the lockdown.

Ahead of non-essential shops and other businesses re-opening on Monday, April 12, we spoke to Crowngate's centre manager, Michael Lloyd.

Tell us about your business?

"Crowngate boasts 55 stores, a large car park and the city’s bus station. More than 25 years since its development in 1992, the two main shopping districts – Friary Walk and Chapel Walk – are at the heart of Worcester. Popular names can be found in Friary Walk, including, Superdrug and New Look. In Chapel Walk emerging independents sit alongside names such as Primark. Within Chapel Walk, you’ll also find some of the UK’s loved restaurant brands including Bill’s."

How has your business been affected by Covid – how have you had to change?

"Covid has caused many retailers to look at how they go about their day-to-day business whilst following the government guidelines and policies in order to make the return of physical shopping a safe place for the members of the public and staff alike.

"We all see the implementation of sanitiser stations, one-way systems, signage and mask wearing, but there is a lot more that each retailer is doing behind the scenes including stock management, returns handling and isolation processes, touch points cleaned regularly, staff rotation all of which is there to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission."

What do you think of the Love Local Business campaign and why is it important to use local businesses?

"The Love Local campaign gives local businesses a chance to shine and is an opportunity for businesses to shout about themselves as well as having others champion them. The beauty of this is that it covers all businesses and not just the big chains, giving the small independents an equal platform and exposure.

"We also need to remember that there is a place for the national brands in city centres too as they attract visitors and provide jobs which is needed to keep our great city thriving and buzzing."

What can customers look forward to for the week commencing April 12?

"There are so many exciting things happening from the 12th April at Crowngate and within the city centre which include a 'Pop-up Secure Cycle Store' where cyclists can park their bike in a warm, dry safe place whilst having it monitored by CCTV. We also have a dedicated repair station so you can pump up your tyre or tighten your handle bars.

"The Reimagine photography trail led by DanceFest and infuseDANCE is on display until 14th May and features people of all ages from Worcester and beyond. The exhibition introduces a series of photographs that reimagine the spaces we live, work and travel in. Visitors and shoppers can follow the trail of photographs on banners, screens and shop windows around Worcester city centre. Download the trail guide and map here: Trail Guide & Map.pdf"

Other things to look out for this year are various art trails, Worcester's Big Parade for St Richard's Hospice and a History & Heritage Pod, for all of which additional details will be released in the coming weeks."

Our Love Local Business campaign is run by the Worcester News, Malvern Gazette and Evesham Journal, in partnership with Worcestershire County Council, Worcester BID, Crowngate Shopping Centre and the University of Worcester.

If you'd like your business to be involved in Love Local Business, call Dale Godliman on 01905 742372 or email