Two innovative tourism industry schemes developed in response to Covid-19 have been shortlisted as finalists in the prestigious OPSS Awards.
Run by the Office for Product Safety & Standards, the awards recognise the success of both Eastbourne’s COVID-Ready quality mark scheme and the more recent tourism pilot scheme, which supported businesses as they reopened after the 2021 lockdown.
Both schemes are the result of a Primary Authority partnership between the Eastbourne Hospitality Association and regulators from Eastbourne Borough Council Licensing and Environmental Health, East Sussex Trading Standards and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, with support from VisitEastbourne.
Each scheme will be showcased at the virtual OPSS Awards with winners announced on 10 June.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “We are delighted that these two schemes have been recognised. Working in partnership with businesses is the key to our success as a destination, and the more we can support each other then the better the visitor experience will be.”
A representative from the Eastbourne Hospitality Association Executive Board said “Another proud example of the EHA’s collaborative partnerships with VisitEastbourne, Primary Authority, ESCG & BEIS. It is truly remarkable what can be achieved working together on a project, pushing technology boundaries and completing the whole project over virtual meetings. Well done everyone & good luck!”
Eastbourne’s COVID-Ready scheme launched last summer as the town emerged from the first lockdown and supported businesses with guidance around Covid-19 control measures, risk assessments and ethically sourced PPE to enable businesses to reopen safely and to reduce anxiety.
The first scheme of its kind in the UK, and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by Your Eastbourne BID and Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce, the recognised logo can now be seen in the windows of hotels, shops, restaurants, salons and many more business sectors, providing residents and visitors with reassurance for the safest possible visit.
The second scheme, funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, brought all regulators together to support businesses following the 2021 lockdown as they reopened and adapted to industry changes, particularly following business diversification or new ownership.
The pilot scheme supported businesses with friendly and informal guidance using webinars and live Q&A sessions designed to reduce business owner’s anxiety, helping to meet legal obligations to ultimately improve safety and productivity.
Also working with VisitBritain’s ‘Pink Book’ guide to tourism industry legislation, advice ranges from fire safety and signposting allergens to hosting outdoor events. The recordings and a library of resources at still available online at VisitEastbourne.com/reopening-your-business. For more information or to view COVID-Ready businesses visit www.visitEastbourne.com/covid-ready