A council has used some of its share of the Government’s ‘Welcome Back to the High Street’ funding to produce gift guides. Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) has stated that it is “doing its bit to support shoppers, local businesses and markets – as well as reminding people to stay Covid safe.”
A council has used some of its share of the Government’s ‘Welcome Back to the High Street’ funding to produce gift guides.
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) has stated that it is “doing its bit to support shoppers, local businesses and markets – as well as reminding people to stay Covid safe.”
To encourage people to rediscover and explore centres across the Moorlands, gift guides featuring some of the independent shops in the area are currently being distributed to every household across the district.
SMDC has confirmed that it has spent £17,000 on producing the gift guide, along with the cost of “marketing, adverts etc.”
Councillor Sybil Ralphs, leader of SMDC, said: “Christmas is always a special time in the Moorlands but especially so this year as people return to town centres to shop, socialise and enjoy the seasonal events.
“It’s always a key period for shops, markets and businesses and, this year more than ever, they need us all to show them our support by shopping locally and buying the gifts and food and drink that make Christmas special from Moorlands businesses and retailers.
“We’re supporting our high streets to thrive and everyone can help by shopping locally this Christmas – and throughout the New Year too.”
SMDC has used part of it’s share of the Government’s ‘Welcome Back’ funding to support a range of activities, including the production of the gift guide.
A Facebook page has also been set up – www.facebook.com/LocalGiftGuide – and there are bus adverts promoting the ‘shop local’ and ‘shop safely’ message.
Cllr Ralphs added: “Everyone is welcome to come to the Moorlands and we want people to feel that it’s safe for them and their loved ones so, in line with revised England-wide regulations, we’re asking people to wear face coverings in shops and on public transport and to take a test before meeting up with others.
“We all want to see our families and friends to celebrate the season so let’s all take care of each other whilst enjoying these final weeks leading up to Christmas.”
The Times & Echo further contacted SMDC about the gift guides, as the council had said they had already been delivered to every household, and yet some of our team who live in the Moorlands had yet to receive one. We also asked how much of the Welcome Back funding had been used to produce the gift guide and other initiatives.
In response a spokesperson for Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said: “The guides, social media campaign and bus adverts have been delivered using government Welcome Back and Additional Restrictions Grant funding provided to councils to help encourage people to make a safe return to local high streets and boost trade following the closures and restrictions as a result of Covid.
“In the Moorlands, we’ve used some of this funding to promote the ‘shop locally’ and ‘shop safely’ messages to support local shops, markets and businesses during the festive period which is a particularly important time of year for them.
“Distribution of the guides to households started last month and should have been completed by end of the month but was impacted by severe weather. We are liaising with the distribution company regarding progress.”
They added: “The guide, marketing, adverts etc cost £17,000. As we said previously, this came from external grant funding aimed at boosting trade and welcoming people safely back to high streets.”
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