One of the key sites at the centre of the Skripal poisoning case poses “no risk to public health” and is set to reopen this weekend.
An area of The Maltings in Salisbury city centre – where Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia were found unconscious – was released from Government control on Monday following decontamination work.
A team from Salisbury recovery co-ordinating group will now tidy up the spot, which was shut off after the nerve agent attack on March 4.
Chairman Alistair Cunningham said on Tuesday: “There’s no risk to public health, it’s a simple message. There’s no doubt the site is clean.
“The site is in quite a state after not being touched for a few months.
“Our plan is to do as much as we can in the next few days … because it’s a vital economic link for the town centre.”
There are no plans to replace the bench where the Skripals collapsed, but the council was looking at a possible art installation, Mr Cunningham said.
He added around £250,000 had been given to affected local businesses, which saw revenues drop by up to 80% in the immediate aftermath of the poisoning.
You walk around and life goes on, the city is bigger than the incidentAlistair Cunningham
Mr Skripal, 66, and Ms Skripal, 33, were admitted to Salisbury District Hospital after coming into contact with the military-grade nerve agent novichok.
Mr Skripal left the hospital on Friday morning following his daughter’s discharge on April 10.
Mr Cunningham added: “Things are running to plan and this is a real milestone in Salisbury returning to normal.
“You walk around and life goes on, the city is bigger than the incident.”