A RELAXATION of Sunday trading hours this summer has been welcomed by store owners across the Fylde coast.
Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed the Government will push through legislation to lift the six-hour limit for larger stores as the country gears up for the Olympic Games.
He said: “It would be a great shame, particularly when some of the big Olympic events are on a Sunday, if the country had a ‘closed for business’ sign on it.”
The move has been welcomed by retailers, business groups and small shop owners.
Russ Neve, deputy manager of the Houndshill centre in Blackpool, said: “We’d welcome that move – it is quite an antiquated law.
“Sunday is very much a normal day as people’s lifestyles have changed – it can only be a good thing.”
It’s thought the move, allowing stores to open on Sundays for eight weeks from July 22, could lead to a permanent cessation of the Sunday trading laws.
Warwick Tunnicliffe, chairman of the St John’s and Cedar Square Traders’ Association in Blackpool, added: “I think all of the tracers will be pleased; our Sunday trading laws go back to the dark ages, but we’re living in the 21st Century and the world continues.
“Lots of people have leisure time on a Sunday that shops can take advantage of.”
Phil Parkes of Clifton Collectables in Clifton Street, Lytham, said: “The legislation doesn’t affect us as we’re a smaller shop, but Sundays are a good day for shopping and the move will be beneficial for the whole town.
And Arnold Sumner, St Annes Chamber of trade coordinator, welcomed the move but said caution was necessary.
He added: “I think it will be a good thing but we need to respect everyone’s opinions in the mixed society we now have - some will want to keep Sunday as a day of rest and will want to go to church.
“It’s a difficult and emotive subject.”