Stirling Council Leader Scott Farmer has urged residents to support local businesses in the right way when the local authority drops down to level 3 of the coronavirus protection levels.

The changes will apply from 6pm tomorrow (Friday, 11 Dec) but non-essential shops can re-open from 6am, having been closed for three weeks under the strictest level of the Scottish Government framework.

As part of the easing of restrictions, hospitality businesses such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars will also be to re-open indoors and outdoors for the consumption of food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Travel restrictions remain in place, however, and Stirling Council residents should not travel outside the local authority area except for essential purposes, so please shop locally.

Show kindness and patience

Cllr Farmer said: “The re-opening of all shops and the partial easing of restrictions in the hospitality sector is a welcome boost as we head into the busy Christmas period.

“I know residents will be keen to support local businesses in this challenging time but with the virus still very much a risk, I would encourage people to plan ahead, and act in a safe and responsible manner on the high street. 

“Follow the rules in place, including on travel, and remember FACTS to reduce the risk of infection.

“Above all, show kindness and patience, particularly to shop and hospitality staff, who will be doing their best to serve you and keep you safe in very difficult circumstances.

“These restrictions are tough on everybody and we are all weary of them after nine long months, but it’s more important than ever that we continue to stick with them so we can have a happier Christmas and look forward to better times in 2021.”

This message has been backed by business groups in Stirling city centre.

Help our local businesses

Go Forth Stirling BID Project Director, Danielle McRorie-Smith said: “We welcome the safe return of our retailers from 11 December and would encourage customers to support Stirling City centre by purchasing their Christmas gifts from our high street.

“We’re fortunate that our city is home to some outstanding independents, offering unique Christmas gifts, and big brands that are a popular choice all year round, but especially at Christmas.

“The city’s Christmas lights are lit and there’s a welcoming atmosphere in which to enjoy some retail therapy this Christmas. Please help our local businesses by adhering to rules and being patient – we look forward to seeing shoppers return safely this weekend”.

Key info for shopping in Stirling

If you are planning on shopping in Stirling, below is some key information: 

  • The Thistles Centre will be open 8am to 8pm (11-23 Dec) – please check individual retailers’ opening times as some stores will vary.
  • The Farmers Market on Port Street will take place this Saturday (12 Dec) between 10am and 4pm and the following Saturday (19 Dec).
  • Parking restrictions in areas such as King Street remain in place to help support a pedestrian-first approach - info on parking in Stirling Council.
  • As part of Operation Steadfast (Festive), a mobile police station will be in place in the city centre from Friday (11 Dec) to coincide with the reopening of non-essential shops. Foot patrols will be undertaken by Police Officers within the city centre, including at the weekend.