Discussions are underway to bring “Totally Locally,” the national scheme which aims to promote Britain’s independent High Streets, to Hay on Wye. The brand has already proved hugely popular in towns such as Hebden Bridge, Christchurch in Dorset and Bakewell, and now a group of local business people are hoping to kick start Totally Locally Hay.
Totally Locally is a free scheme which is open to all businesses, from shops and cafés to pubs and B&Bs to plumbers and electricians. The aim is to spread a positive message about the benefits of using local businesses. However the scheme is definitely not anti-supermarkets or online retailers. Amy Mackintosh from the Swan at Hay Hotel, who is one of the local business people promoting the scheme in Hay, explained more.
“All of us tend to use supermarkets at some point, or will buy things online if we can’t get them in Hay. Totally Locally isn’t about trying to stop that – we’re just hoping people may stop and think about whether it’s a purchase they could make locally rather than having hard earned cash leaving the town.”
Shelley Faye Lazar is a well known local artist who sells hand painted silk scarves. She has also been involved in promoting Totally Locally Hay, and commented, “We’ve had a really good response so far from the businesses we’ve spoken to. Our problem is that we simply don’t have the time to go to speak to everyone! And we really don’t want any local shops or businesses to feel left out. That’s why we’re appealing to anyone in Hay who’s keen to hear more to get in touch with us directly.”
The group are also keen to stress that Totally Locally will not compete with any existing local groups. Andrew Williams, from fair trade retailer Eighteen Rabbit, commented, “We are hugely supportive of the local Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber have also been very encouraging as we’ve tried to get the scheme off the ground. We see Totally Locally as something which should complement other local groups. Our aim is to get people thinking about how they can support their local businesses. We are so lucky in Hay to have an independent High Street, and that’s something worth fighting for.”
The group hope to host a public meeting in mid-October with the intention of holding a full launch around the Hay Festival Winter Weekend. Anyone wishing to find out more should contact Shelley (firstname.lastname@example.org), Amy (email@example.com) or Andrew (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.