Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones has hailed the importance of the Advertiser’s ‘Love our Indies’ campaign.
In March, the Harrogate Advertiser decided to launch a new campaign to promote a golden age of independent shops, bars, restaurants and cafes across the town.
With the arrival of a number of high profile chain restaurants, including Ask, Byron Burgers and Yo Sushi!, the town’s independents had raised fears that the market was become diluted.
However, in a series of articles, the Advertiser highlighted the fantastic work of the town’s indies, including the town’s “Notting Hill” esque Cold Bath Road as well as the town’s historic independents.
Mr Jones has now backed the Advertiser’s campaign to support the town’s independents and called for it to be continued in 2017.
He said: ““The campaign by the Advertiser series to support our local indies is well-founded because without them our area would become so much more like those faceless towns with nothing but big multiples and restaurant chains.
“I love living here and representing Harrogate, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge in Parliament. I enjoy promoting this constituency because of all those things that make our area special.
"Along with our amazing countryside and our parks and gardens are our outstanding independent traders. Personal service, local produce and good prices are their hallmark.
“They have carved out a distinctive niche in local life and as we move into 2017, I want to see the indie sector thrive and grow. They can only do that if we continue using them which is why this newspaper’s ongoing campaign is so important.”
As part of the paper’s campaign, the Advertiser reached out to Harrogate blogger ‘The Harrogate Girl’ for her view on why the independents are so vital for Harrogate.
She said: “Harrogate stands out from other towns because of its independents. The Harrogate Advertiser has played a fantastic role in keeping the support for independents alive with a bespoke ‘Love our Indies’ Campaign and I hope it will continue.
“One thing I believe the independents can do to help themselves is to get themselves on social media and showcase their uniqueness.
“Simon, head chef at Norse is fantastic at this! The business network in the town is growing from strength to strength too, especially with groups like Harrogate LIVE and The Catalyst Group.”
Lucy Playford’s blog ‘The Harrogate Mama’ highlights family friendly independents across Harrogate and said the Advertiser’s campaign highlighted their importance to the community and economy.
She said: “It’s been tragic to see so many indies close their doors this year. I think spreading the love for our amazing Independents in Harrogate is massively important.
“I think having a focus on the ‘love our locals’ campaign is really making local residents think! Families I talk to are really considering their choices much more each time they head out to dine or shop, people are taking note that if we don’t support our locals they won’t be here much longer for us to enjoy!”
The leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Coun Richard Cooper hailed the town's independents as the "trademark of our area".
He said: "They need our support and the support of visitors to our district. That local support and the support we bring to the district through tourism is the lifeblood of our local economy.
"That is why as a Council we need to ensure our local economy is strong, the conference and exhibition trade continues to grow and that our area is a magnet for tourists with the financial boost they bring to our high streets.
"I wish our independents a merry Christmas and a happy New Year and encourage people to continue to support them in 2017."