AS non-essential shops eagerly await the green light to reopen, a county councillor has urged residents to support local businesses and shop local.

The government has given the go-ahead to businesses such as clothing and toy shops to reopen from June 15, almost three months after lockdown began.

Following the announcement, Coun. Gordon Stewart, who represents Prudhoe South, has called on residents to support businesses who have struggled due to the pandemic, or face losing them.

Coun. Stewart said: "We are living in times witnessing extreme difficulties within the retail sector, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

"Prudhoe has a wide range of shops and other businesses, not just on front street but elsewhere throughout the town.

"As we look forward to the weeks and months ahead coming through this pandemic the way we all conduct our daily business will have to change.

"We are asking that everyone looks at how they do business and respectfully suggest that they may like to use local services more than ever, the benefit of this is apparent not just for the business and the customer but the wider Prudhoe community.

"Please shop locally because businesses can not continue without customers and communities die without facilities being available locally.

"It is clear that if people do not use them they will lose them."

Coun. Stewart added that the town's future continues to be bright despite the pandemic.

He pointed to the Low Prudhoe development as evidence. The retail park will see the likes of Aldi and McDonalds open in the town.

Coun. Stewart continued: "People are very proud of Prudhoe and all it offers.

"Our view then and now is the future of the town is indeed very bright.

"The Low Prudhoe development will give residents more options where to shop & create employment opportunities.

"Residents will soon have much needed & long awaited facilities in the town which will save them time & money and save them travelling many miles as many do now."