The return of "buzz" and "excitement" to Fordingbridge will make a "huge difference" to local businesses, according to firms in the town welcoming customers back today (April 12).

The start of the second phase of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown has seen non-essential retail, beauty salons and pub gardens open up again. 

Businesses throughout Fordingbridge - some of which have been shuttered for months - have been celebrating reopening their doors. 

Below we take you inside them and behind the scenes in pictures, as they share their hopes and fears for life after the third national lockdown:

'Good vibe' in town

Dave Tree, of All The Cool Stuff in High Street, Fordingbridge, said "it’s great to be open and see everyone again”.

"Certainly within Fordingbridge there is a good vibe today (Monday, April 12) and everybody is in a cheerful mood," he added. 

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Having more businesses open in Fordingbridge will make a "huge difference", Dave said, making the town a destination rather than a route to pass through.

"With shops open and cafes people are much more likely to take time and check things out to see what there is."

Dave is part of the Keep the Heart Beating campaign which aims to promote local businesses in the town.

As part of the campaign a guide about the different businesses in Fordingbridge is being produced.

Dave is also in the process of setting up a loyalty card scheme, which will also help to support other businesses in the town.

'It's nice to be back'

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PICTURE: Ana McGurk and Natasha Rose at Hays Travel

Hays Travel manager Natasha Rose was also keen to give a warm welcome to returning shoppers.

She said: “It’s nice to be back on the High Street and we’re looking forward to seeing our customers again."

The easing of lockdown restrictions now mean people can enjoy a pint in pub beer gardens. 

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PICTURE: Customers at The Crown Inn

Hairdressers in the town have also been able to open. 

Carl Hillwood, of Carl Hillwood Hair and Beauty, said he "feels excited about the future". 

Below he is pictued with Charley Tate, Millie Patton, Emily Barclay, Megan Pritchard and customer Caroline Seaton.

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Mike Temple-Edwards of Champion Barbers 

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Changes bring back the 'buzz'

Another business celebrating reopening is Emily's Beauty in Salisbury Street, Fordingbridge, which has opened a new treatment room, pictured below.

A Facebook post said: "Welcome back everyone! I am so pleased to be open again and I can’t wait for you all to see the changes that I have made.

"There is a new treatment room and a lay down sunbed is going to be installed in the back room in the next few weeks."

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Pictured below is David Clarke of Little Ice Cream Factory 

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The return of more retail and hospitality businesses in the town has been welcomed by shops like The Gourmet Grocer who have been allowed to operate during the lockdown. 

Clare Johnston, of The Gourmet Grocer, pictured below, said she “loves the fact there’s a buzz back on the High Street”.

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Picture: John Simmonds, of D Price Butchers, with a prime rib of beef

'An empty shop is a soulless shop'

The owner of Luxury Bubble, Sian Currie, who’s pictured below, is delighted to be back open and see her customers once again. 

She said: "An empty shop is a soulless shop. It’s so lovely to have our customers back."

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Julia Mouland being served by Fleur Field at Luxury Bubble (Pictured below)

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Are you a business in Fordingbridge that has reopened today? 

Tell us how its been and send us your pictures by emailing

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