'WELCOME Back – We’ve Missed You’ messages are set to appear in town centres across Cheshire East over the next week.

The messages will consist of rainbow banners, signs and bunting, and are being put up by Cheshire East Council in 11 high streets.

Temporary highways measures, including road closures and Covid-19 social distancing signage has been in place across 16 high streets since June 15.

Many have been adapted following more recent changes to national guidelines on social distancing.

Cheshire East Council has been offered up to £339,533 from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the safe reopening of its high streets.

As shops, restaurants, cafes and bars begin to reopen the council is working to prepare the borough’s high streets for more visitors returning.

The council’s preparations have had the much-appreciated support of town and parish councils who are working collaboratively with the council to make their high streets more welcoming.

Cllr Laura Crane said: “The council has installed a number of temporary highway measures around our high streets to enable people to adhere to social distancing requirements and return to our town centres safely.

“We would like to again reiterate our thanks to the town and parish councils who have informed the temporary measures that have been put in place to make our high streets safe.

“Following the weekend – which saw the government’s social distancing restrictions ease – we must remember that some members of our community are not as confident as others.

“Some people may be coming to the shops for the first time in over 100 days. These temporary measures in place are there to help build both their confidence and that of our businesses.”

Cllr Nick Mannion said: “We are continuing to listen to feedback about the temporary highway measures and are looking to find ways to support our high streets and businesses into recovery.

“The ‘Welcome back – We’ve missed you’ campaign is designed with our business and visitors at the heart of it and aims to make a more welcoming atmosphere in our towns.

“The pandemic has deeply affected our communities and local economy and we would encourage everyone who feels confident to do so, to shop locally and support your local high street at this difficult time.”