Suffolk: Campaigner Lady Caroline Cranbrook backs EADT’s new shop local at Christmas initiative

A NEW campaign urging shoppers to spend in Suffolk this Christmas is today being launched by the East Anglian Daily Times.

The Shop Local initiative – which has been backed by Suffolk business chiefs and food campaigner Lady Caroline Cranbrook – is intended to breathe fresh life into the county’s economy in the countdown to Christmas.

Suffolk is facing increased competition to keep shoppers in the county, with the opening of the Westfield centre in Stratford adding to the pressure already being exerted by the likes of Norwich, Cambridge, Lakeside and Bluewater.

But Suffolk’s fight has been helped by the imminent opening of the John Lewis at home and Waitrose on the outskirts of Ipswich.

Chris Soule, chairman of Suffolk Federation of Small Businesses, has backed the campaign, saying it has come at an important time.

He said: “The very fact the EADT is encouraging people to shop locally is a really good focus for a campaign.

“Because after the summer – when we didn’t really benefit from the Olympics – it makes it all the more important that we support Suffolk businesses.

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“Suffolk has got some fantastic towns and villages and if we don’t support their traders we face losing them.

“If you go to a local butcher for example you’ll get advice on how best to cut the meat – you won’t get that anywhere else.

Suffolk local food campaigner Lady Cranbrook said: “I think it’s an excellent campaign that everybody should support.

“If you buy local food, the money is re-spent three times in the local economy before it leaves the area.

“It binds the community together, and it feeds into all the surveys that say people want to know where their food comes from.”