Sunday, June 16, 2024


A NEW advertising campaign has been encouraging people to support local shops in Newry and Downpatrick in the aftermath of the severe flooding.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s Make It Local spring campaign carries the strapline ‘Where You Shop Makes a Difference’.

It was designed specifically to encourage residents to support their high streets.

“By introducing some of the friendly faces behind Newry and Downpatrick’s independent businesses, the campaign focuses on the message that small business owners are a vital part of our communities – they are our neighbours and our friends,” explained a spokesperson for the district council.

“The campaign highlights the local offering in Newry and Downpatrick.

“From fantastic gift shops, boutiques, family-run cafes and restaurants to independent retailers, town centres enrich communities and add value to people’s lives. Now is the time to show your local area some love.”

The campaign has been funded by the Department for Communities (DfC), which has also supported a free programme of events in Newry and Downpatrick over the last three months, including temporary, interactive sound and light exhibitions, enhanced St Patrick’s Day celebrations and a free classical Easter concert.

“It is widely recognised that experiences and initiatives assist in creating vibrant and sustainable town centres,” the council spokesperson added.

“The package of funding was provided to market and animate our high street offering in the aftermath of the autumn flooding that severely impacted parts of their commercial centres.”

Department for Communities Minister Gordon Lyons said: “I am pleased that my department is supporting this campaign, as small business owners are a vital part of the community.

“This initiative highlights the great local shops, family-run cafes, restaurants and independent retailers in the Newry and Downpatrick area.

“It will encourage people to visit local businesses and high streets, therefore stimulating the local economy, especially in the aftermath of the recent flooding that severely impacted parts of the town centres.”

Thanking DfC for its support, the chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Valerie Harte, said: “The council recognises the challenges faced by its businesses in the aftermath of the recent flooding.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the Department for Communities for providing funding that allowed us to carry out this advertising campaign and programme an exciting range of experiences in the heart of Newry and Downpatrick.

“The funding allowed us to demonstrate our support for our local businesses and high streets in a practical and creative way.

“We want everyone to know that ‘where you shop makes a difference’ and encourage everyone to continue to do so.”

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