A NEW 'shop local' campaign has been launched.

Posters have gone up in businesses in across the borough encouraging people to support local traders in the wake of the pandemic.

The latest campaign is the brainchild of the Bolton Labour Group and will culminate on August 29 with the special "Shop Local Saturday" ­— but the campaign will continue to run throughout the year.

It comes as Bolton Council roll out £1.25 million support package for traders in Bolton and the district town centres.

Labour Group Leader, Cllr Nick Peel said: “We discussed how the pandemic has affected our local high streets and corner shops, and decided that we wanted to help out in any way that we could, and so came up with the Shop Local idea.

"It’s all about asking local people not to forget their local shops, that are part of their community and to encourage them and others to use them during these difficult times.

"We will use social media in order to promote the campaign.”

Cllr Peel said that business owners have raised concerns about how their businesses will survive under the new distancing requirements.

He is inviting traders to take part in a online meeting to discuss their experiences and the issues they are facing.

Cllr Peel said: “In addition to this campaign, we are inviting interested shop owners to join us in a round table ‘Zoom’ meeting with Shadow Labour Ministers to discuss their concerns about lockdown and how they feel about the future of their business.

"Labour wants to hear directly from people about their experiences and what we can do to help.”

Deputy Leader, Cllr Akhtar Zaman added “ The response from local business owners has been fantastic; they want to display the poster and are pleased that we have started this campaign. The council is concentrating on Bolton town centre, and we understand that, but we are saying ‘don’t forget about all of the smaller shops out there’."

The campaign is launched as shoppers enjoy a free parking offer in the town centre. The council investment to boost trade also includes having town centre information officers in every district, developing a rewards scheme, new social distancing signage, hand sanitiser stations and a marketing campaign.

Deputy leader of Bolton Council Cllr Martyn Cox said the council has committed to supporting local businesses in Bolton and district town centres, and welcomed the additional support.

He said: "The council has been running a shop local campaign and support from anybody who wishes to help with this is welcome."