Lockdown roadmap: When are the first attractions, venues, and events in the Midlands going ahead?

Credit: PA

The Government's roadmap out of lockdown means that people can start looking forward to the events and activities they used to enjoy.

The relaxing of social distancing measures and the reopening of the economy is very gradual, beginning on March 8th. From then two people from different households can meet outside, one designated visitor is allowed in care homes, and schools return.

It is provisional, and depends on infection rates and the success of the vaccine rollout, but it goes right through until June 21st when it's hoped all restrictions will be lifted



These are the first places to let us know their plans to reopen once restrictions are eased:


Venues

The Birmingham Repertory Theatre has announced the return of live performances this May.  

They're planning two productions, created and performed by Birmingham artists, which were postponed.

Rosie Kay’s Absolute Solo II will be on Wednesday 19 May 2021 and Lightpost Theatre’s Constructed will run from Thursday 27 – Saturday 29 May 2021.



There will be socially distanced seating, hand sanitising stations, temperature checks and additional cleaning.


Theme parks and attractions

Drayton Manor says it has introduced hygiene safety measures for guests Credit: Drayton Manor

Alton Towers and Drayton Manor both plan to reopen to visitors on April 12th.

Both venues say they have introduced a number of hygiene measures to ensure guests stay safe.

West Midland Safari Park will reopen on the same date, writing on its website, 'We can’t wait to welcome everybody back safely' along with Twycross Zoo.

CONKERS, lying in the middle of the National Forest on Leicestershire/Derbyshire border, is also set to open its doors to visitors again from Monday 12 April 2021.

William Shakespeare and his wife Anne Hathaway's cottage in Shottery Credit: PA/ITV News Central

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which cares for heritage sites related to playwright William Shakespeare's life in his home town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, says it's looking to open the doors to their main site on Monday 17th May. The charity looks after multiple locations in the area including:

  • Shakespeare's Birthplace

  • Mary Arden's Farm

  • Anne Hathaway's Cottage

  • Shakespeare's New Place

  • Hall's Croft

Trust teams say they're planning a phased return for their Shakespeare family homes.

Organisers of Lincoln Christmas Market are hoping it can go ahead this year, subject to government restrictions.

Lincoln City Council is hoping its Christmas Market will go ahead this year. Applications for stallholders have now opened for the event taking place from December 2nd-5th.


The return of sports fans

Fans in the Midlands haven't been back at stadiums since March Credit: PA

In his lockdown roadmap, Boris Johnson announced that fans would be able to return to stadiums from May 17th at the earliest.

Up to 10,000 people or a quarter of the capacity, whichever is smaller, will be permitted.

Smaller venues will be allowed a maximum of 4,000 or half their capacity.

With the Premier League due to finish on May 23rd, some football fans in the Midlands will be able to see the last game of the season live from the stadium.

In the same week as the lockdown roadmap was revealed, the latest events schedule for the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham was revealed, with adamant confirmation that the event will go ahead, and will be the biggest in the history of the Games.


Festivals

Birmingham Pride is an important date in the calendar for the city's LGBT+ community Credit: PA

Birmingham Pride is the UK's largest two-day gay pride festival and regularly attracts tens of thousands of people.

It is normally held in May but this year will be held on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September 2021.

This year's Worcestershire Pride is scheduled for 18th September.

Derby's popular Folk Festival has been running since 2007 but was forced to move online last year.

Organisers say they are excited to be planning for the festival to happen 'in the real world', from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd October 2021.

Nottingham's Splendour Festival will be back in 2021. They announced on Twitter who their headline acts will be.



Last year's tickets will be valid for this year's festival at Wollaton Hall on 24th July.

But Download festival will be cancelled for the second year in a row, and the next Lincolnshire Show will now take place in 2022 rather than in 2021 as planned. Organisers say they tried to make it happen, but felt that it was too close to the planned end of the lockdown roadmap. The new date is 22nd & 23rd June 2022.


Credit: PA

Plenty of events are going ahead for the Coventry City of Culture 2021, in a Covid-secure way. Organisers are describing it as "the first major cultural event since the start of the pandemic."


Races

The half marathon is one of Stoke's most popular events

The easing of lockdown also means large scale events like marathons can go ahead.

The Potteries Half Marathon is one of Stoke's most popular events and we now know this will take place this year on Sunday, September 26th.

Coventry's Festival of Running, which includes the half marathon, has been rescheduled for Sunday, 31st October.

Walsall will welcome the Women’s Tour, a women’s cycle race, for the first time in 2021.The town will host the start and finish of stage two on Tuesday 5th October, following the recent re-scheduling of the race from its traditional June date.


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