Last-minute Christmas shoppers are being urged to think local and give traders in their towns the greatest gift of all - their support.
The Christmas Eve call has come from Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), the organisation leading the charge of town centre regeneration across the country.
He says the success of Scotland’s town centres is inextricably linked with thriving communities and that those embarking on a final festive rush can bag brilliant presents - and boost their local economy - by buying from the varied and vibrant businesses on their doorsteps
The pre-Christmas message is one that Mr Prentice hopes people will remember the whole year through. The head of Scotland’s town centre regeneration body has called on local people to support their town centres by thinking local for the last minute gift purchases. Phil Prentice, the Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said that the future success of Scotland’s towns centres is inextricably linked with thriving communities.
STP is the national body for Scotland’s towns and all those who work to support the country’s towns and city districts; a hub to help people learn, connect, find practical support and advice, and share good practice and knowledge. The organisation’s deep-rooted knowledge of the towns landscape and extensive range of services supports the Scottish Government's ongoing commitment to secure a positive future for Scotland's towns.
Phil Prentice said:
“Our town centres and our local businesses aren’t just another shop or service, they are part of our communities. They are our brothers, sisters, neighbours and colleagues. They provide invaluable opportunities for our children and our older people to mix and socialise. If we want to have thriving integrated communities in Scotland, then we have to support our town centres by thinking local.
“The question is what the future holds for our towns in the context of the decline in some of the major industries of the past. A closer look, however, highlights that the spirit of reinvention is very much alive.
“Some towns have totally reinvented – Wigtown as the Book Town, West Kilbride as the Craft Town, Kirkcudbright as the Art Town, Oban for Seafood, Dunoon and Fort William as outdoor leisure specialists. Towns like Inverurie, Prestwick, Gourock and Kilmalcolm are all beginning to see a strong rise in the growth of independent and high quality local niche retail. Our towns are now offering an experience that cannot be replicated online.
“Lots of people will be making a last-minute dash today to purchase any final gifts, and I’m urging them to think local and think town centres. Most people when asked say the want their town centres to thrive now and in the future, but ahead of Christmas I would say to them that it’s actions that matter more than words.”
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