Bags boost for business as traders ‘brand’ town

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THE Morpeth brand is branching out as traders launch their own Bag for Life.

The More in Morpeth initiative by the Chamber of Trade is now in full swing, with logos, slogans and a website up and running to promote the town as a shopping and tourist destination.

But business leaders are not resting on their laurels, with more plans in the pipeline to add to the brand.

And now new shopping bags have been designed.

Initially, the bags will be sold at a forthcoming farmers’ market in the town, but if they are successful more may be made for the town’s independent traders to sell.

Chamber Vice Chairman Debbie Anderson said: “Hopefully, we will be able to launch our More in Morpeth Bag for Life in the next two or three weeks.

“It is our aim to launch them at the farmers’ market and sell them to members of the public for about £2.50 each so that it will be a self-funding exercise.

“In the long-term we would like to be able to get the independents to sell the bags, but initially we will sell them in the Market Place so we will be encouraging people to come down and buy them.”

The scheme has been designed to tie in with Morpeth Town Council’s policy to reduce the amount of plastic bags used in the area.

Mrs Anderson said talks are taking place with supermarket Morrisons to try to gain more support for the campaign, and the operator of the planned food store in Low Stanners, who is still to be announced, will also be approached.

Chamber Chairman John Beynon said: “I think it is great. It is something very positive that the town council and the chamber of trade are working towards together.”

Other suggestions for the More in Morpeth brand, such as shop and car stickers, a loyalty card and links to Northumberland Tourism, are also being investigated, as well as an idea to provide promotional material for hotels and guest houses to send out when bookings are made.

Chamber members will be given a further presentation about the progress of the initiative when there are firmer plans in place.

Mr Beynon said: “There is so much work being done on this – it is starting to roll out and really get started.

“It is really good news for the chamber and Morpeth.”