Shop local this Christmas in Torridge

North Devon Gazette

As calendars click over into December this week the focus on preparations for Christmas kick into a higher gear with plenty of fun and activities available right across Torridge.Â

It also marks the start of the 2021 Shop-Local campaign encouraging people to make their holiday purchases in local shops or with local experience providers.Â

Spending locally makes an enormous difference to the Torridge economy where 63p of every £ spent local, stays local, supporting local jobs and families. It’s good for the planet and kinder to the environment too, with locally sourced and delivered products significantly reducing our carbon footprints.Â

Town events will be in full swing kicking off with an evening of fun at Bideford’s pannier market on Thursday, December 2.Â

Its then a short hop to the now familiar 'Small Business Saturday'Â event on the 4th, which the council is supporting with free all-day parking in Bridge Street, The Quay, The Manor and Pill Car Parks.Â

Now in its ninth year, the national event saw an estimated £1.1 billion spent with small businesses across the UK on the same day last year – an amazing example of how local spending across just one day can have an impact that lasts well beyond that.Â

Sunday, December 5, will herald the Christmas Light switch on in Bideford with events and entertainment running from 12-7pm including fairground rides, live music, a lantern parade and various stalls and food vendors. Other late night shopping events will also take place in Mill Street on 9th, 16th, and 23rd December.Â

Check the council’s website for further free parking offers on these and other days across the Christmas period. The offer also includes dates sponsored by Town Councils in other parts of the region on their own designated days.Â

If you can’t get into Town to #ShopLocal you can also support the campaign online as many local businesses also have their own websites or listings on online stores such as

People can also download one of the council's A4 posters to display in their shops, businesses, or home windows to show their support.Â

Sean Kearney - Head of Communities and Place said: “Shopping locally will be a key part to helping Torridge businesses recover financially from the pandemic. Supporting local jobs for local people has the feel-good factor we can all tap into.

"You’ll also get a high level of service that’s goes hand in hand with locally owned and managed businesses and the chance to find a gift that’s a little bit different and stands out. Our local food retailers will also be showcasing all the local produce our farmers in the region are renowned for.”Â