Come on in, we’re open!

SHOPPERS can find More in Morpeth as the Herald joins forces with traders to present a range of great offers.

Today we launch our Open for Business campaign to show that despite the roadworks in the town centre, there are still plenty of reasons to shop in Morpeth.

And a competition for one lucky reader to win £20 of shopping is just one of them.

We are giving away the prize voucher to spend in any one of the businesses advertised in our special Morpeth feature on pages 12 and 13 – and if your luck’s not in this week, don’t despair, as there will be another chance to try for the prize in next week’s paper.

Organisers of Morpeth Farmers’ Market will also be spreading some shopping cheer as they team up with the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade and Greater Morpeth Development Trust (GMDT) to run a prize draw at their event on Saturday.

There will be a supply of produce by stallholders, packed in a More in Morpeth bag for life, up for grabs, as well as vouchers for a day out at Kielder for four people, courtesy of Northumbrian Water. It will include a meal in the waterside restaurant, a trip on the ferry, entry to the bird of prey centre, a round of crazy golf and admission to the indoor swimming pool.

GMDT Chairman Doug Phillips said: “Given the current economic challenges that are happening through Europe and the UK, it is refreshing to see that partners across Morpeth are working together as a cohesive partnership to help maintain the town’s reputation as a quality place to live, shop and work.”

The campaign comes after businesses reported a major slump in custom following the introduction of a one-way traffic system to the town centre on January 16 due to water, gas and highways works.

Traders said that while traffic is moving, customers’ perception is one of gridlock and they are avoiding the town.

Now a concerted effort is being made to draw them back and reward their loyalty with discounts, offers and prizes.

A traders’ event will be held in Morpeth Market Place on Saturday, February 18, where independent shops will set up stalls with special offers, and there will be entertainment by singer Sarah Miller.

It will be the turn of acclaimed performer Jason King to take centre stage on Saturday, February 25.

Chamber of Trade Chairman John Beynon said: “Morpeth is open for business as usual and we are desperate to get that over.

“If we didn’t do anything then the roadworks would have a serious detrimental effect on a lot of businesses in the town, but because the Chamber of Trade is taking a proactive approach we feel that things will be improving day-by-day.

“I would like to praise the Morpeth Herald for helping the campaign and for all its support.The message is that Morpeth is open and there are some great offers.”

The chamber has received £500 each from Northumbrian Water and Dransfield Properties towards its promotions, as well as setting aside £2,000 of its own funds.

For your chance to win a £20 shopping voucher, see page 13.

TO help get the message across as quickly as possible, the Herald has created a profile on Facebook and a campaign page – Morpeth: Open for Business.

We will also send out notifications on Twitter.

We ask you to re-Tweet these messages, and get your friends to do the same.

That way we’ll let the world know that MORPETH IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!