Bid to boost trade ‘is having an impact’

Paul Haslam from Northern Rags has launched a shop local scheme which is proving popular with businesses and customers.

Paul Haslam from Northern Rags has launched a shop local scheme which is proving popular with businesses and customers.

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An ambitious bid to boost trade across Fleetwood is bringing more people into the town, shop bosses said today.

Even though the scheme is still in its infancy, more than 1,300 Shop Local cards have now been distributed to shoppers.

The latest company to sign up to the scheme is fast food giant McDonalds, which is offering discounts at its Fleetwood restaurant when the discount card is produced.

Trader Paul Haslam (pictured), who set up Shop Local in October last year said the scheme is definitely working but there is more potential.

He added: “The number of people picking up the cards is increasing daily and businesses are saying it is helping with trade. And if the businesses who are signed up to it do their bit to promote it further, the potential is massive.”

Empty shops, rows of charity stores and a lack investment from big names isn’t helping to promote Fleetwood in the right way and some people say they don’t bother shopping in the town centre because it has little to offer.

But Paul believes small steps in the right direction is the way forward to revitalising the town centre.

A shop local website is also under construction now which will give shoppers the full list of participating shops and business and their respective discounts.

Paul added: “The potential is there. It is not a quick fix solution but progress is happening.

“There have been a few negatives but those businesses are missing out because they don’t see the bigger picture. We need to change shopping habits and give people more of a reason to use the town centre.

“It’s a small step but it is working.”

Fleetwood McDonalds manager Adam Curnow said: “I think its a great initiative by Paul and we are always keen to look for partnerships within the local community.”

The cards can be picked up from Northern Rags in Poulton Street.