The band today launched a ‘shop local’ scheme with a big prize on offer – a personal performance by the band for the lucky winner in a prize draw.
The scheme was devised as a thank you from the band to the many shops, cafes and other traders who have supported the band over many years, and has been put together with the support of Haddington Business Community Partnership, Haddington Farmers’ Market, and the East Lothian Courier.
Speaking at the launch of the scheme, band chairman Ian Sutherland said: “We are indebted to so many wonderful shops, cafes, stallholders at the Farmers’ Market, and other businesses in the town and the wider area and at this difficult time for them, we thought we would try to give something back. This ‘shop local’ initiative is the result.”
Local people are being asked to pick up a card at the participating outlets (all of which will have a poster on display) and then spend £10 or more in six different shops which are involved in the project. The card will be signed by the shopkeeper and when the shopper has six endorsements, the card can be put in the prize box at the John Gray Centre.
The closing date for submitting cards is 30 September and the draw will be made the following week by Provost John McMillan. The winner will be notified and arrangements made for the band to perform at an agreed time and place.
Joanna Gibson, chair of the Haddington Business Community Partnership, commented: “The Haddington Business Community Partnership were delighted to be approached by the pipe band with their initiative to encourage people to shop local. It’s a fantastic idea that has been welcomed by all the shops and cafes.”
Also taking part are stallholders at Haddington Farmers’ Market, and Val Shields from that association said: ““Haddington Farmers’ Market is delighted to support this initiative from Haddington Pipe Band. Anything that encourages people to shop locally and support local businesses is to be applauded. We have missed the pipe band entertaining us each month at the market and this is a kind gesture from them to support the local community during this pandemic. We have calculated that if everyone in East Lothian spent an extra £5 per week in local shops and businesses, that would be an extra £27.8m per annum going back into our local communities. This means real jobs, better facilities, and better places to live.”
The scheme was also given the approval of Provost John McMillan. “Haddington Pipe Band has always described itself as a ‘community band’ and it is truly living up to its values by doing this for the town,” he said. “With traders having kept going during the lockdown and now opening up to a new normal, the band has responded to all the support they have been given in the past, and I very much hope that this scheme will encourage folk to ‘support local ‘.
“The prize of a special pipe band performance is a unique idea, and I am sure it will help to drum up business for the town.”
“The actual band performance may have to be delayed until the Covid restrictions are lifted,” said Ian Sutherland, “but we will very much look forward to arranging that event with the winner and hopefully then giving them a memorable occasion.”
The participating town centre shops are: Gibsons, Graham the Jeweller, Erica’s, Oxfam, TV and Audio Repair, Celebrations, Mains, The Loft, Fabrication, The Cheese Lady, Joe Forte Sports, Market Street Pharmacy, Naked Lunch, and The Reading Room. Stallholders at the Farmers’ Market participating are: Ballencrieff Pork, Belhaven Smokehouse, Falko Bakery, Fidra Gin, Letham Plants, Mungoswells Flour, Myco Bee Mushrooms, Phantassie Organics, Saltpigs Sea Salt, Spice Witch, and Winton Brewery.
Any other shops wishing to join the scheme are asked to email email@example.com or call Alastair Bruce on 07725 584108.
At the launch of the shop local scheme: Jim Graham (Haddington Business Community Partnership), Peter McLaren (Haddington Farmers’ Market), Ian Sutherland (chair of Haddington Pipe Band), Paul Kinnoch (Haddington Business Community Partnership), and Provost John McMillan. All are holding the poster which is promoting the scheme.