Spalding Guardian editor Jeremy Ransome writes about the launch of our campaign...
I am delighted that Johnston Press and the Spalding Guardian are championing independent businesses with our ‘Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local’ campaign.
The newspaper is very much at the heart of the local community so it’s appropriate that we should be offering our support – and, hopefully, the support of our loyal readers as well – to the many unique outlets at the heart of our town centre and surrounding areas.
Our high streets have been squeezed for many years by out-of-town developments and increasing use of the internet, but they are now making a resurgence and it’s up to us to help ensure that they not only survive but prosper in the future.
Increasingly, shopping is being seen as a leisure pursuit and, while the town centres must adapt to that by ensuring the facilities are up to standard and the night-time economy is supported and sustainable, we can play a part too.
Every pound spent locally can have huge benefits for the area, helping local businesses who, in turn, will employ local people.
Compared to many, Spalding is still a vibrant market town, located on the beautiful River Welland.
There is a good range of shops, some excellent schools, and I think it is one of the best places in the country to live.
The town centre contains a mix of national retail chains and a dazzling range of independent, family-owned concerns – greengrocers, restaurants, cafes, butchers, bakers and even an award-winning bookshop.
There is a town market held twice a week that sells absolutely everything, and is certainly worth a visit.
The late-medieval Ayscoughfee Hall, with its magnificent gardens is another jewel in our crown, as well as other great attractions such as the Pinchbeck Engine Museum, the Springfields Shopping Outlet and Gardens, the Bulb Museum and the Gordon Boswell Romany Museum.
The area is also famous for St Paul’s Church at Fulney, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the designer of St Pancras Station in London.
Spalding even has its own radio station – Tulip Radio – 107.5FM.
Over the course of this year, we will be throwing the spotlight on some of the successful businesses in Spalding, Holbeach and Long Sutton town centres, while bringing you great deals to allow you to sample some of the fantastic products and services they have on offer.
And, as well as regular slots in the paper, you can check out our stories and videos online, as well as following us, and our sister paper the Lincolnshire Free Press and other Johnston Press titles across the country on Twitter using the hashtag #jpshoplocal.
Please play your part by pledging to ‘Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local’!