Widcombe traders pioneer great new campaign to boost safe local shopping

Staying safe and supporting businesses in local shopping areas is a message set to spread across Bath and North East Somerset with the launch of a new ‘I love local’ campaign.

‘I Love Local’ has been devised by Bath & North East Somerset Council together with partners Visit Bath, Bath BID and Invest in Bath to support retail businesses and promote the message that it’s safe to go back to our high streets.

It aims to reinforce public health messaging around social distancing and hand hygiene at the same time as encouraging people to shop locally by championing local shops and businesses.

The campaign will kick-start with the launch of I Love Widcombe on Friday 7 August, in Widcombe High Street. Campaign tools are being made available to all our High Streets, market towns and city centre shopping areas across Bath and North East Somerset.

Flags will go up at each #ilovelocal location and items including facemasks and tote bags bearing the area’s branding will be available for people to buy.

Councillor Dine Romero, council leader, said; “There are so many great retailers and independent businesses on each of our local high streets, from butchers to greengrocers, ironmongers to coffee shops and we are here to support and champion them. I’m very excited about our I Love Local campaign as it will foster community spirit and pride in our High Streets for residents and businesses alike, which is much needed as we collectively recover from the impact of lockdown. We must also continue to promote public health messages so I would underline that we should all continue to social distance and sanitise hands as we explore what our high streets have to offer.

“Although we’ve started in Widcombe to show what can be done, we are encouraging local high streets and shopping areas across the towns and villages that serve our communities to get involved. I think everyone has a story of how their local shops have helped them during lockdown and we want to do everything we can to help our local centres reopen safely”

A local ‘pod’ team will be formed in each #ilovelocal area to co-ordinate local traders and encourage a community spirit. They’ll be able to access support and promotion tools by visiting the I Love Local webpage.

Nick Steel, Widcombe Social Club & Director of Bath Comedy Festival, said: “Huge thanks to Bath & North East Somerset Council for this great initiative to support the local areas within our city. Wonderful Widcombe is open for business.”

Jon Ison, from Widcombe Deli, said: "It's great to see this support for local communities and traders as we get back on our feet."

The campaign is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Reopening the High Streets Safely Fund. For more information visit: www.ilovelocal.info