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Date published: 21st June 2020

North Norfolk District Council has responded to the devastating fire at Budgens at Holt by convening a meeting of local partners this morning to discuss support for the business, town and wider local community in the coming days.

Budgens was the town’s principal food shop and supermarket and local residents will be concerned about how they can do their shopping locally particularly as the town opens up following the Coronavirus lockdown.

In the immediate term, District Council officers are on site working with the Fire Service and Bakers and Larners of Holt to advise on securing the area around the fire-damaged structure.

Concerns have been raised about how elderly and vulnerable people who were supported by Budgens during the Coronavirus lockdown will be able to access their shopping and the company is considering how it might be able to continue provision of service through its Budgens Aylsham store and Bakers and Larners store.  The company is also in contact with Post Office Counters Limited about providing a post office service from other premises in the town. 

If any local resident in Holt has concerns over their ability to access food and support at this time they should contact the District Council’s dedicated COVID helpline number 01263 516000 and their request for assistance will be managed by the District Council and through colleagues at Holt Town Council. 

The District Council has offered to work with the company provide employment advice and support to employees affected by the fire through its Economic Growth Team and if such assistance is required this will be put in place in the next few days.

Leader of North Norfolk District Council, Sarah Bütikofer, commented: “Firstly my heart goes out to all those impacted by last night’s devastating fire, at a time when so many people were starting to look forward to a brighter summer the timing could not have been more cruel.

“North Norfolk District Council are already working with local partners to provide all the support we can to those impacted by events, and will continue to do so over the next few days and weeks to come.

“Holt itself  has a wonderful community spirit which is already shining bright this morning as everyone rallies to help.”

Discussions have also been had with Bakers and Larners, the Town Council and Love Holt (Chamber of Trade) about the wider support which can be provided in promoting the town as “open for business”.  Conversations were already being progressed about the measures Holt would like to see put in place to promote town centre businesses recover from the COVID situation and the Budgens fire gives added impetus to this work to promote the strong retail and hospitality offer of the town to local residents and tourist visitors.

Budgens of Holt was a key driver of footfall in the town and also had a strong “local” offer with many local food producers selling their products through the store.  Local partners recognised that this “buy local : love local” message needed to be promoted as there are many independent specialist food stores in the town - butchers, bakers, fishmongers, and greengrocers which are still able to serve people with their local food shopping from local growers and producers.

Despite the challenge that this major fire has had on the town, the resilience of the local business community remains strong and their focus is on continuing to promote the wide range of goods and services which Holt is able to offer - an aim which the District Council recognises and wishes to support.

The District Council will therefore liaise closely with local partners in the town in the coming days to support Holt’s recovery from this significant event.


Last updated: 21st June 2020