Plans to boost Chorley trade by £30 million

Victoria Garside from Cocobella Sweet Shop on Chapel Street, Chorley
Victoria Garside from Cocobella Sweet Shop on Chapel Street, Chorley

More than 30 businesses are joining forces in a project which could bring millions of pounds into Chorley every year.

Independent traders in the town centre are set to launch the ‘Totally Locally’ campaign to encourage residents to shop local and spend money to benefit their community.

The scheme, which is also been backed by Chorley Council, could see the creation of vouchers to spend in across the shops, promotion incentives, new shops and more jobs.

It is being spearheaded by Victoria Garside, owner of Chocobella, who says the campaign could bring in an extra £29 million for the town.

Victoria said: “This town is lovely and lots of people come here and say how amazing it is because there are so many independent shops.

“Shopping habits are changing and if we want to have a vibrant town centre then we have got to shout about what we’ve got in Chorley and encourage people to spend time and money in their local shops.

“Chorley has some fantastic independent traders that offer something different and provide a much better shopping experience than you will find in the out-of-town centres.

“I think people are starting to understand that if they don’t start shopping at local independent businesses, they are going to lose their community.

“We are part of the community, we know our customers by name and they are not just a number to us.

“As independent traders we want to launch this new Totally Locally Chorley campaign to make sure people know what Chorley has to offer and encourage people to think twice about where they shop.”

Victoria, who has run her Chapel Street business for over two years, is inviting businesses to support the Totally Locally Chorley campaign, which she has been putting together for more than 12 months.

Totally Locally Chorley is all about getting people to shop at the businesses that will help benefit the town.

Businesses involved would be promoted around the town and be part of incentive schemes and events where they will be able to give talks and demonstrations.

“If every adult in the town spent a fiver in the town in a year, that is an extra £29 million for Chorley,” Victoria said.

“By shopping local you are recycling money in the area independent traders support other local businesses which, in turn, grows the community and the economy, creating jobs for people rather than seeing the money being taken out of Chorley and lining the pockets of the big national chains.

“If you take the time to look at what fantastic independent stores we’ve got from award winning butchers and bakers right through to the market traders, hardware stores and gift stores you can get pretty much everything you need in Chorley.”

And once the idea gets off the ground, Victoria said the campaign would look at the potential of vouchers to use across Totally Locally shops and expanding the campaign to traders in other areas, such as Buckshaw Village.

Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, was supportive of the project.

He said: “It’s great to see the town centre businesses working together on this campaign and they have the full support of the council.

“We can do our bit by improving the town centre, helping to promote what’s on offer and introducing incentives such as free parking but for us all to get the best out of it, it needs the traders to do their bit too.

“I’d urge as many businesses as possible to attend the initial meeting to find out more and I’d encourage everyone who lives in the borough to consider doing more of their shopping locally.”

It is hoped the campaign will fully launch in October.

Dozens or traders have already signed up to Totally Locally - including a bookshop, music shop, jewellers, cafés, pubs, graphics, accountants and market traders.

And more businesses are being invited to go along to a meeting this week to be a part of the campaign.

The meeting for businesses will take place at Woodchats Coffee Shop on Thursday 8 September at 5.45pm.

All independent traders are invited to find out more and to pledge their support to the campaign.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/totallylocallychorley.