An initiative to support the recovery of towns and neighbourhoods across Dunbartonshire has been shortlisted for the inaugural Scotland Loves Local Awards. 

Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and Milngavie Business Improvement District (BID) have been recognised for their efforts to deliver the Scotland Loves Local Campaign in seven locations across East and West Dunbartonshire. 

The campaign, which has already been highlighted as an example of best practice, has been encouraging people to “choose local”, shop local and back businesses and services in their community. 

Loves Local activity included the creation of seven new town centre websites, online business listings, 100,000 Loves Local brochures, advertising, PR and social media activity. A Sky TV advert was produced to promote Milngavie and integrated the Loves Local branding and a local business owner even arranged an Instagram Live stream with Judy Murray which helped to promote the Loves Local messages. 

Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive and Project Manager, Damon Scott, said:  

“The Loves Local campaign has been helping hundreds of Dunbartonshire businesses by encouraging local people to “Choose Local” to support our local enterprises. 

“The Chamber teamed up with Milngavie BID to roll their successful model out which has been a fantastic partnership to promote the Loves Local messages. 

“People and businesses across both East & West Dunbartonshire have been powerful advocates of the Scotland Loves Local campaign since its launch last summer so we were delighted to be chosen for the positive impact of our work.” 

Milngavie BID manager, Tony I’Anson, added: “In 2019 at the start of our second BID term, a digital marketing approach was adopted as part of our 5-year business plan, that included a commitment to the Milngavie Gift Card. The lockdown, with many local retailers having no sales outlets, were forced to quickly adapt to online selling. Milngavie BID were able to accelerate our plans for a Digital High Street to continue trading, using Click and Collect and local deliveries.” 

“Many of our businesses have had to find new ways of working and we even saw the establishment of a sustainable e-cargo bike delivery service.” 

“BID Manager’s across Scotland were actively encouraged to reach out and collaborate with their communities. The work with the Chamber across Dunbartonshire has really shown what can be done through collaboration.” 

Winners of the awards, organised by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) will be announced during an online event – presented by STV’s Sean Batty – to be broadcast via social media on Thursday, November 25. The celebration will also be the culmination of the Scotland’s Towns Conference, a week-long showcase and celebration of innovation improving the nation’s towns and places. 

Phil Prentice, STP’s Chief Officer, said recently: “The way in which the whole of Dunbartonshire has embraced the Scotland Loves Local campaign has been phenomenal. I am delighted that we have been able to share some of this great work, which has made a real difference.”