"I CAN'T put into words how challenging this period has been," Stourbridge's Ryemarket centre boss has admitted as she unveiled plans for non essential retailers to begin opening later this month following latest guidance from the government.

A number of shops ave remained open in The Ryemarket shopping centre in the town centre since the lockdown began in March - including Waitrose, Home Bargains, Poundland, Boots, Iceland, Eco Maniax, Holland and Barrett and The Coventry Building Society - but from June 15 other stores can start to open.

Centre manager Kelley Dyas said: "Following government guidelines we are hoping to start welcoming back our other retailers who are currently working on plans to ensure they open putting procedures into place for the safety of their customers and staff."

She said since January the centre has changed its cleaning regime and she added: "The centre has fitted hand sanitiser units at all entrances and is manning the queuing systems into these retailers with constant reminders for social distancing through radio announcements, floor stickers and posters.

"Throughout this period the team at The Ryemarket have worked hard to keep the centre a clean and safe environment as possible for the customers and themselves."

She added: “I can’t put into words how challenging this period has been, we have had to adapt and change throughout, the staff at The Ryemarket have really shown me what team work is and have gone on and above their duties throughout this challenging times.

"It has been a new way of life and working for everyone since lockdown began and we are also thankful to the customers for observing social distancing rules and being patient and sensible with queues and the adaptations we have had to make to the centre during this time."