February 2014: I am delighted that the Peterborough Telegraph is championing our independent businesses with our Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign.
The PT 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.
And many of our sister titles up and down the country are also joining the campaign.
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.
Every high street in the country has been hit by the recession in recent years, and it is not only the small independents which have felt the crunch, with many once household names now also missing from our shopping experience.
Increasingly, shopping is being seen as a leisure pursuit and, while town and city 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.
Peterborough’s city centre has fared better than most with new businesses filling many empty units. But times are still very tough for independents.
The recent closure of the Reba boutique gift shop caused a big debate in the city with many lamenting the fact that such a store had to close.
There are plans to expand the city centre into North Westgate providing a new home for the city’s market. It is essential that our local independent businesses get the support they need to maintain their place in these new developments.
It’s fantastic to have national retailers like Primark and restaurants like Carluccio’s moving into Peterborough but it is just as important that Designer Leather, Niro and Clarke’s thrive as well because of the unique services and variety they give the city.
Pre-packed sausages taste great but if you’ve ever bought some from Frank Bros in Westgate you will agree that they are pretty special.
My personal favourite – roast pork rolls from Sundays - are a highlight of the city’s culinary scene and I haven’t tasted anything to compare with them outside of Peterborough!
Local retailers, restaurants and other businesses are the backbone of the city’s economy and if we can all give that little bit of extra support the whole city and all its businesses will ultimately benefit.
Over the course of this year, we will be throwing the spotlight on some of the successful businesses in the area, 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 papers, across the country on Twitter using the hashtag #jpshoplocal.
Please play your part by pledging to ‘Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local’!