Shop Local and save Leven

Front Row: Scott Mathieson, owner of Scotts Fruit & Veg. Middle L/R: Cllr Charles Haffey, Pauline Graves, co-owner of Angels Desires, Cllr John O'Brien and Cllr Jim Young. BACK L/R: Cllr. Tom Adams, Cllr. David Graham and Hazel Cross, Fife Council.
Front Row: Scott Mathieson, owner of Scotts Fruit & Veg. Middle L/R: Cllr Charles Haffey, Pauline Graves, co-owner of Angels Desires, Cllr John O'Brien and Cllr Jim Young. BACK L/R: Cllr. Tom Adams, Cllr. David Graham and Hazel Cross, Fife Council.

One of the biggest campaigns to get shoppers to return to Leven town centre launches this week.

Starting on Friday and running over the next eight weeks, Shop Local Leven aims to get people using businesses in the town centre by giving away thousands of free booklets filled with over 70 money-saving vouchers.

Each voucher offers fantastic savings in one of 40 independently run shops and services on not only the High Street but also the surrounding area.

The campaign, which is right in time for Christmas, has been organised by Fife Council along with the businesses in a bid to boost the local economy by tempting people into the town to find out what it has to offer.

“It is about people going back into Leven town centre rather than shopping in other centres or shopping online and just re-discovering the value that is there,” Hazel Cross, economic advisor at Fife Council, told the Mail.

“The voucher booklets are designed to encourage people to meander round the town, meaning the businesses that have chosen to take part will benefit but so will the other businesses – as there will be more people in the town.

“Not only does Shop Local support business but it also gives the local community something back through the offers that businesses have come up with.”

The town centre may have had its fair share of doom and gloom stories recently but Hazel, who grew up in Methil in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s said she hoped the voucher booklet would give people an incentive to break the habit of shopping elsewhere, adding they may just be surprised by the variety and quality they find.

“Going into all the different shops just made me think ‘you know, I’m going to come down here more often because there is quite a lot in this town centre’,” she continued.

“I like that I am able to go in to shops and get an instant choice and be able to buy confidently by looking at products and touching them or being able to try them on.

“I recently bought all my fruit and veg’ from a local grocer and I felt ridiculously pleased. I felt really good about buying them locally as I was helping to support a business and support the employees that work there.

“Also I was able to pick up the vegetables that I wanted and needed and not have to buy a big pack.

“I personally feel this campaign can help the area become vibrant and bustling once again.

“I think with the Energy Park and the work going on down at BiFab it is on the cusp of a revival if we can get the support right and we can encourage people to see the value that’s in the town centre.”

Shop Local Leven runs from November 1 to December 31. Voucher booklets are available from libraries, local offices, participating businesses and can be downloaded at www.fifedirect.co.uk.