THERE’S a buzz about Hexham once again after shoppers made a welcome return to the high street.

Non-essential shops were allowed to reopen on Monday, for the first time in three months, as the Government continued to ease lockdown restrictions.

But with the coronavirus pandemic continuing, the shopping experience is different to how it was back in March.

Among the businesses which reopened their doors was Listers Biscuit Box, on Old Church, just off Market Place.

“It’s nice to be back” said Katie Lowdon, whose business offers an array of biscuits, sweets and ice cream.

“It’s nice to see people again, and when you walk along Fore Street there’s a bit of a buzz again.”

Katie, who has run Listers for seven years, said she had been operating on a delivery only basis prior to Monday, to keep business ticking over.

One of Hexham’s newest businesses, the Refill Station, on Market Street, is an eco-friendly enterprise which enables people to buy food products in non-plastic containers.

Proprietor David, who runs the business alongside his partner Annie, said: “People have been supporting our cause, while respecting social distancing and other guidelines.”

Not all shops have reopened in Hexham, despite having the freedom to do so from this week.

David Ord, of Ten Green Bottles Vintage, on Market Street, said he’d used the lockdown period for refurbishment and to upcycle more vintage products.

“We’ve got measures in place for when we reopen,” said David. “From hand sanitiser to perspex at the till, we are ready to go. I am delighted that the shops in the town are opening again, but I just want to wait a little bit longer and open in the first week of July. It’s all about preference, and that works best for us.”

David has gradually expanded his Ten Green Bottles Vintage enterprise since launching back in 2014. He restores vintage items from clothing to record players.