PROGRESS on an innovative scheme to attract more shoppers to Christchurch has been backed by the Chamber of Trade.

The Totally Locally Christchurch scheme held its second meeting with traders and businesses on Tuesday to get the proposal up and running.

And now, with backing from Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Christchurch Council, organisers have set a date for the first initiative.

The Totally Locally campaign, which has been taken up by several towns across the UK, claims Christchurch’s economy could be boosted by an extra £8.2million a year if traders get behind it.

The initiative’s message is that if Christchurch residents spent just £5 a week in local independent shops, the boost to the town would help ensure its survival.

It encourages the traders to get together and raise the profile of the town with the campaign aimed to increase footfall.

Cheryl Dennett who is leading the scheme, said the first project – Fiver Fest Fortnight – would begin on April 20, when the project will be officially launched.

“It was another successful meeting – the chamber came along and has pledged their support and help to the scheme, which is really welcome news”, she said.

“To have them on board means we can help spread the word. The council have also said they would like to support it and are putting something on the website.

“We are planning to have a market stall in the normal Monday market as well as a presence at other local events to tell people what we are doing. The stall will also be an opportunity for traders to let people know about their own businesses.”

She added: “Fiver Fest Fortnight will hopefully see lots of places in Christchurch – I think mainly eateries – offering £5 deals to shoppers.

“I’ve already had some emails from people so gradually things are taking off.”

A map will soon be available showing people where the deals are.

The next meeting is due to take place on March 19 at Christ-church Fire Station at 7.15pm.

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