A CAMPAIGN encouraging Northumberland residents to shop locally is to be launched ahead of Monday’s easing of restrictions.

Northumberland County Council’s Shop Local, Shop Northumberland campaign will go live on Monday, encouraging residents to support the wide choice of local independent businesses in the county.

Two of the shops involved in the campaign include Forum Books in Corbridge and clothing company Ivy & Rigg in Newbrough.

Amie Nevin, co-founder of Ivy and Rigg, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. Before doing Ivy and Rigg I had a massive underappreciation for small businesses - not only for the work that they undertake, but also in terms of showing the characteristics of Northumberland and what unique things are on offer up here. After Covid particularly, there’s been a real renewed sense of local areas appreciating what is on the doorstep and what they bring to their area.”

Award winning bookshop Forum Books adapted well to selling online over lockdown but Helen Stanton, who runs the shop, is excited to welcome customers back.

She said: “Coronavirus has shown people the importance and the connection between shopping local and helping to support the local area. Independent businesses work really hard because they genuinely love what they do. The customer service that we can offer and the way we run our businesses is done with a lot of heart.”

It has been a busy month for Forum Books. As well as taking part in the Shop Local campaign, it is due to open a second shop on Park View in Whitley Bay. Helen said: “We’ve actually been working on opening there for over two years. It’s been a long-time planning!”

To find out more about the campaign, you can visit the discoverourland.co.uk/shoplocal which will go live on April 12.