Since launching in the summer of 2021, Shop Hartlepool has seen an amazing response from proactive local businesses looking to reassure and encourage people back onto our high streets. As the sign ups started rolling in, we quickly realised that Hartlepool also has a huge amount of thriving online businesses.
As the year draws to a close, we thought we’d give you a quick round up of what’s been happening at Shop Hartlepool this year.
After successfully receiving funding from the Government’s Reopening the High Street Safely Fund (RHSSF – now rebranded as the Welcome Back Fund) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Hartlepool Borough Council allocated part of the funds to a marketing campaign to support local businesses, creating the Shop Hartlepool campaign.
The Shop Hartlepool initiative is brought to you in partnership with Love Hartlepool and Hartlepool Borough Council, with the aim of helping shoppers and businesses return to normal and prosper after the pandemic and beyond. Without this funding, and guidance from Hartlepool Borough Council along the way, this wouldn’t be possible.
After months of behind the scenes work, Shop Hartlepool officially launched on 30th June 2021, with a video that showcased what Hartlepool has to offer. Thanks to a successful social media campaign, we already had over 100 businesses signed up when the website went live!
While most COVID rules were still in place, the focus of the initiative was to encourage safe shopping and dining within our town, whilst also promoting our remarkable local businesses.
Team of Experts
Shop Hartlepool was launched with the help of a team of experts in local business and retail, whose passion is to promote prosperity within our town. Having their continued input along the way has helped shape Shop Hartlepool into what it is today.
Thank you to Janice Auton, Voluntary Co-Chair of Love Hartlepool & Owner of Poppy’s Hairdressing; Maxine Craig, Voluntary Co-Chair of Love Hartlepool; and Mark Rycraft, Centre Manager at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.
The Hight Streets Task Force
More recently, Shop Hartlepool has benefitted from the help of a wider regional expert. Graham Soult is a high-street champion, digital marketing expert, and respected media commentator whose strong North East networks, existing Hartlepool connections, and highly relevant experience from working in places such as Chester-le-Street and Durham, made him the right choice to lead the final stages of the High Streets Task Force work in Hartlepool.
The High Streets Task Force provides support to local leaders in town centres and high streets across England and following additional discussions with local authority representatives, it was agreed that further support from the High Streets Task Force should take the form of helping the town to activate the Love Hartlepool campaign and develop business networks within the town.
As last year was far from business as usual, we wanted to pull out all the stops to help boost Hartlepool-based businesses this festive season. We have loved creating Christmas advent content for every day of December, along with getting businesses and Hartlepool residents involved in our best dressed Christmas Window Competition. We also had a blast filming H’Angus the monkey while he did his Christmas shopping!
We have thoroughly enjoyed our first Christmas supporting the Hartlepool business community. There have already been a fantastic number of local businesses sign up to be part of Shop Hartlepool and we are looking forward to seeing that number continue to grow next year.
Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous New Year from the Shop Hartlepool team.