High five for Totally Locally in Burntisland

Business owners in Burntisland get ready for the 'Fiver Fest', part of the Totally Locally campaign
Business owners in Burntisland get ready for the 'Fiver Fest', part of the Totally Locally campaign

Traders unite for a fantastic new initiative to encourage folk to shop on their doorstep

Burntisland is set to launch an award-winning campaign aiming to encourage locals and visitors to discover how much the town’s independent retailers have to offer them.

Totally Locally is a free initiative supporting the town’s traders to show the value of local shopping and its benefits for the local economy.

The campaign will begin on Saturday with a special launch on the High Street where traders will promote ‘Fiver Fest’ - over 30 of the town’s businesses will be offering special deals for just £5.

Totally Locally was created in West Yorkshire in 2009 by brand expert Chris Sands and business strategist Nigel Goddard and has been successful in small towns across the UK. It came to the attention of traders in Burntisland after a meeting with Andrew Walker, an economic adviser with Fife Council Development Services, who knew of the initiative.

He said: “I spoke to some of the traders and they seemed a well organised group and put the idea to them.

“My role was really to help point them in the right direction and then step back and let them get on with it.

“Obviously they all know Burntisland really well and what would work best for it. It’s a nice old-fashioned sea side town.

“I think some of them are concerned on the impact the new Morrisons in Kirkcaldy may have on their businesses so this is quite a positive move.

“There’s a lot of joined-up thinking. They’re not working to promote themselves but they’re doing this in the best interest of the town.”

Burntisland trader Lorna Duffin said after the meeting with Andrew she was keen to give Totally Locally a go.

“Once it was suggested by Andrew one or two of us went on the Totally Locally website and thought it was amazing, so we thought we’d just go for it.

“We started speaking to people and folk were so positive it seemed worthwhile doing. The traders from other shops and businesses are really keen.”

Over 30 shops and businesses have signed up for the campaign and will be located on a map which will be unveiled on Saturday, which was designed by studio owner Tania Savage.

The campaign’s website was also created by another business owner, Karen Small, who said: “The whole thing is like a template and then you can just approach it in a really pro-active way. It’s a very positive campaign too.

“We didn’t have to think up the Five Fest ourselves, it’s all there already done for you. It’s been tested and we know that it works. I think that’s what’s really amazing about it.”

The campaign has a message - that if everyone in Burntisland spent just £5 a week in local independent shops, it would bring an extra £1.4 million into the town’s economy every year.

Jinti Wight-Boycott has signed up to the campaign and stressed that it’s not just for the benefit of the High Street: “It’s about promoting the whole town,” she said.

There’s lot’s of great businesses hidden away. There are people doing their own independent beauty or computer businesses for example.

Lorna said that helping each other was the most positive aspect of the whole venture, saying: “It’s promoting each other’s trades and working together and I think that’s what’s so attractive about it.

“It’s about changing the focus of what your own business is about and looking outwards to see what’s good about the town and what we want to tell people about this.

“We’re saying it’s great! We love this town and there’s a lot going on that people generally don’t know about. “Since this started I’ve got to know so many people along the High Street. It’s been brilliant and there’s all sorts of networking going on that wasn’t going on before.

The group felt than in the difficult financial climate they needed to do something pro-active.

“That was important, says Lorna. “And for us we’ve been finding out things that we didn’t know were available in the town ourselves.”

With a new business about to start in the old “eyesore” Post Office building and other businesses opening up in the town, Lorna said it was a perfect time to launch Totally Locally.

“We’re all pleased to welcome new businesses but instead of just saying how good it is, we’re all going along and getting to know people.”

With 33 businesses confirmed to take part, Claire Baker MSP will be on hand to officially launch the week long campaign on the north side of the High Street near the zebra crossing on Saturday at 11.00 a.m. and Lorna hopes that as many people as possible will give their support.

“It’s what the whole fabric of a town like this is built on,” she said. “The stronger the local economy, the better it is for the whole town.”

>> Read more online: www.totallylocallyBurntisland.co.uk. - or like the Totally Locally Burntisland Facebook page.

An award winning enterprise

Totally Locally is an award winning social enterprise and shop local movement established in 2009, supporting independent retailers and offering free branding and marketing campaigns for local towns. Teams of volunteers use the campaign to promote the importance of shopping locally in their towns, celebrate their high street and create community events.

The aim of the campaign is to support local growers, producers and services and to appreciate the things that locals have their doorstep and to develop a collective responsibility to support local businesses in order to make towns thrive.

It seeks to be more than just a campaign for local shops, but to focus on working together to lift a community and regenerate profit back into local economy.

Success stories in Scotland so far include Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute and Lanark, Lanarkshire who have all regenerated profit back into their communities.

And it’s completely free of charge.

Lori-Ann Doig