Shop Local: Council urge shoppers to use market towns this Christmas

Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council, promoting the 'Shop With Confidence' campaign in Swa

Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council, promoting the 'Shop With Confidence' campaign in Swaffham as lockdown restrictions are eased. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk council is urging shoppers to "enjoy, discover, and explore" their market towns in the run-up to Christmas as part of a new campaign to welcome people back to the high street.

Breckland Council is encouraging residents and visitors to get back to the high street as national lockdown restrictions come to an end this week.

The country returns to a tiered system on Wednesday, December 2 with Norfolk being placed in Tier 2.

The new restrictions mean non-essential retailers, such as clothing stores, cafés, gift shops and art galleries, will be able to reopen as long as social distancing measures are put in place.

The council and local businesses have been busy preparing to reopen, with several new shops opening for the first time.

Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council, said: “The recent restrictions have brought challenges for everyone and the whole year has been a tough trading period for many of our local shops.

"As our high streets reopen for business, I urge people to show their support by choosing to shop local throughout December, while being mindful of social distancing and guidance to keep everybody safe.

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“Our vibrant market towns are packed with independent retailers offering fantastic customer service, unique products at great prices and of course our council-run car parks remain free to use.

"I hope as many people as possible will choose to explore, discover and enjoy their local high streets this Christmas.”

This newspaper is also calling on people to support independent businesses this Christmas and beyond, with the Shop Local campaign.

Shop Local is a use-it-or-lose-it plea to shoppers to consider independent traders and businesses this Christmas and beyond in a bid to bolster our beloved high streets and spark a wave of online spending.

Keeping money in Norfolk and Waveney is vital as the economy splutters in the wake of the pandemic. According to research by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies for every £1 spent at an independent business 63p ends up back in the local economy compared to only 5p spent at a national or international retailer.

- To help people support local traders, Breckland has launched a dedicated webpage to help promote shops in Thetford, Dereham, Watton, Swaffham and Attleborough.  

Find out more at