NOW that many shops have re-opened in Worcester after closing during lockdown, we caught up with Michael Lloyd, the centre manager at Crowngate Shopping Centre, to ask him some questions about the current situation.

How can the people of Worcester get behind city businesses?

Michael: Abide to any queuing systems, be positive, be polite to staff and other customers, use social media to spread good messages of support and thanks to anyone in shops that have helped you, buy from independents, be prepared that most retailers will only use contactless payments.

How do you feel about the future after coronavirus?

Michael: It has changed the way that we live in almost every aspect but has given us an insight into what we need to do in retail bricks and mortar – I believe that the online shopping has been great during lockdown, but ultimately people have had a taste of what it would be like to have no physical presence and not everyone has enjoyed it. This is where we now need to capitalise on that.

Are they confident they can survive/thrive with support from local customers?

It is all about the customers returning and feeling confident and safe to do so. The team at Crowngate have worked with the retailers and businesses to ensure all risk assessments and paperwork is completed and that they have safe systems of work in place so that customers who walk in to the business are 100 per cent confident about their safety. If they are not then we would ask that they let us know so we can help the businesses further.

What steps have been taken to maintain social distancing to protect shoppers?

The health and wellbeing of our employees, customers and visitors remains our first priority and we’re working closely with all those on site to ensure they can operate safely, and in line with public health advice. This includes introducing additional signage, cleaning and hygiene measures on site and asking visitors to comply with social distancing rule at all times. To enable socially-distanced travel, we continue to offer ample parking and are also encouraging people to use bike stands on site. We also continue to relay the latest government guidance and centre information via our website and social media channels.

What does Worcester offer that other shopping centres can’t? Why should shoppers choose Worcester?

The line would be ‘we have everything you need right here’. Worcester offers retail and leisure, the countryside, the River Severn, and Worcester is proudly made up of 65 per cent independent businesses.

Please visit for a list of stores currently open and check for opening hours.

Food and drink businesses at Crowngate are also returning, with many offering a take-out service including Boston Tea Party from June 25, and the expected reopening of others in accordance with the government guidelines, hopefully from July 4.

The toilets have also re-opened, including the accessible toilet located in the bus station, and the car park at Crowngate is open.


Crowngate is among the Worcestershire organisations supporting out Love Local Business campaign, which encourages our readers to spend their money locally to help traders recover from lockdown.

Launched by the Worcester News and sister titles Malvern Gazette and Evesham Journal, our campaign highlights great local businesses by profiling them online and in print.

Campaign sponsors now include Crowngate, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Worcester BID, Visit Worcester, Tom Cook Carpets, Worcester City Council and the University of Worcester.

Any business which wants to be featured in our campaign can call Dale Godliman on 01905 742372 or email