Council heralds Crossmaglen launch of ‘Make It Local’ campaign

January 18, 2016

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council took its ‘Make It Local’ campaign to Crossmaglen on Wednesdsay with the official launch of the initiative in the town.

The ‘Make it Local’ initiative is a new venture launched at the end of last year and is being delivered across the main towns in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area.  Wednesday’s event was the ‘Crossmaglen Taster Lunasa Festival’ which will include a Make it Local Food Fair, supported by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, that will be held on Saturday 12th March.

The aim of the project is to encourage shoppers to buy from their own local stores and to promote the use of local produce in markets and eating establishments throughout the district.

The initiative is supported by the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIRTA) and was initially promoted by former Chairperson, Councillor Naomi Bailie, in an effort to assist local businesses and independent retailers in dealing with the challenges they face in the current economic climate.

The NIRTA outlined the principles of the ‘Local First’ policy priorities for local economic development and encouraged Council to develop and deliver initiatives which promote local goods and services.

At the time Councillor Bailie confirmed her support for ‘Make it Local’ initiatives, it was indicated that she would work through the Council to ensure the promotion of Local First. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has recognised that working in partnership with local retailers will help to ensure the sustainability of vibrant city and town centres across the district. Through close partnership working with local Chambers of Commerce it is hoped that a culture of  shopping local will be developed, thereby enhancing the sustainability of the region with as many businesses as possible being encouraged to embrace the ‘Make it Local’ approach to business practices.

Every town involved in the campaign has been given its own ‘Make it Local’ identity, with each area designated a colour to distinguish itself locally from other areas.  A range of promotional materials will be available for use in each town including shop window stickers and promotional postcards for use at specialised events. A programme of events is planned to highlight the ‘Make it Local’ campaign throughout its various locations.

Council Chairperson, Councillor Ruane, who was represented at the Crossmaglen launch by his party Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, said: “I am delighted that the ‘Make it Local’ campaign has been launched in Crossmaglen and I would encourage everyone to support the local food festival in March.  I would also ask that when shopping in future people adopt the ‘Make it Local’ message and help create vibrant and sustainable town centres across the entire district.”