'Drink, Feast, Shop East' - Campaign launched to boost local trade

Henry Mills, from Mills and Sons and Daughters butchers

Henry Mills, from Mills & Sons and daughters says the business "would not have survived" without support from local people. - Credit: Ricardo Markin

East Suffolk Council has launched a new campaign, 'Drink, Feast, Shop East', aimed at getting residents and visitors to the area to 'Think Local' this winter.

The campaign is being financed by the Government's Welcome Back Fund, enabling local councils to help support the safe return of people to the high street and aid recovery from the pandemic.

The drive will have a focus on Christmas and will showcase local businesses from across the district - in towns such as Aldeburgh, Leiston, Woodbridge, Saxmundham and others.

Rose Brenchley, who works at Reed Books

Rose Brenchley is encouraging young people to try local this winter and "experience what's in front of them" - Credit: Ricardo Markin

East Suffolk's deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development, councillor Craig Rivett, said: "East Suffolk is teeming with incredible shops, award-winning pubs and restaurants and interesting places to experience.

"More than 80% of East Suffolk’s business community is made up of unique and exciting independent shops.

“In the lead up to Christmas, and beyond, we would like to encourage residents and visitors to think local."

Jill Borrett, from Platts Fruit and Vegetables, Leiston

Jill Borrett, from Platts Fruit and Vegetables in Leiston, another business which will benefit from the 'Drink, Feast, Shop East' campaign. - Credit: Ricardo Markin

The campaign has been given a vote of confidence from local businesses, including Henry Mills, of Mills & Sons and Daughters, a butcher and delicatessen, who said: "Quite truthfully shops like ours would not have survived as long as they have without the support of local people. We know we have something special to offer customers who understand about food provenance and like the connection that shopping locally gives them.

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"All our meat is sourced from local farmers so it’s fresher and tastier than supermarket equivalents and we enjoy getting to know our regulars, helping them pick out their meat and giving them advice. You only get an experience like that from a local retailer."

Rose Brenchley, who works for Reed books on Aldeburgh High Street, is urging young people to back the campaign by considering shopping local this Christmas.

She said: "Often the older generation embrace what’s on their high street but younger people are too wrapped up in the instant world of online shopping. They need to look up from their phones and experience what’s in front of them."

Rose Brenchley outside Reed books

Rose Brenchley is encouraging young people to shop local this winter and "experience what's in front of them". - Credit: Ricardo Markin

For those unable to physically be in the high streets this winter a new virtual high street service has also been launched, called Click it Local East Suffolk, launching on December 2.

Residents of the district will be able to buy from participating shops and have their goods delivered on the same or next day.

Billy, Lucy and Ida McAleese shopping in Lowestoft

Local residents Billy, Lucy and Ida McAleese "always try to shop locally - especially at Christmas - because visiting real people and having a tangible shopping experience is not possible online" - Credit: Ricardo Markin

Residents and visitors are being urged to use social media to help promote the 'Think Local' campaign using #ThinkLocalEastSuffolk

More information on the campaign can be found here.

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