Yorkshire town’s co-operative breaks the mould

Independent shops and businesses from Boroughbridge could be breaking new ground for small market towns by pooling their resources to form a new co-operative to retain media experts called in to help promote the community.

Nationwide, out-of-town superstores and the economic downtown have presented real challenges from small high street businesses competing with the marketing power of larger national and international chains.

But, although empty units may be common in parts of the UK, Boroughbridge is proud that its high street remains fully-operational – and without a national brand acting as an anchor store.

Love Boroughbridge was launched this week by businesses determined to maintain the momentum of an initiative developed by the town’s Chamber of Trade at the beginning of the year.

Harrogate-based agency Montpellier Media Services was engaged to work with members to develop the town’s profile both online and through the media.

And, following the success of this year’s Plot To Plate food and drink festival, a bizarre but eye-catching mannequin wedding, an Easter egg hunt with a giant rabbit and positive coverage generated in the regional media, the new co-operative has been formed to pick up the baton.

Spokeswoman Louise Leong said:

“The chamber contact was for just six months but, after getting such positive feedback about how the town seemed to be buzzing, quite a few of us thought it would be a shame to just stop.

“The co-operative concept means we can continue to call on Montpellier Media for help and advice on things like press releases, social media, and content for websites – whether that’s for the town as a whole or for our individual businesses.

“One day, it may well be that we feel we’ve learned enough and feel confident to go it alone but, for now, we very much appreciate the professional guidance and the flexibility Montpellier Media is willing to offer.”

The new contract includes management of a number of projects which remain under wraps for now – including the town’s preparations for Christmas and how Boroughbridge will welcome the millions expected to flood the region for the Tour de France next summer.

Montpellier Media partner Steve Parsley said:

“We’d love to be able to say more as the town is bursting with energy and deserves credit for its drive and approach – but we hope that will come in time.

“In the meantime, what we can say is that it’s been a pleasure working with such a positive group of people and, naturally, we’re delighted they have come up with a way of keeping the partnership alive.

“The next few months are going to be pretty busy but, going on our experiences with Boroughbridge to date, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Love Boroughbridge – inspired by the success of an initiative earlier this year which spawned profile-building projects, including a bizarre mannequin wedding, an Easter Egg hunt with a giant rabbit and enhanced publicity for the annual Plot To Plate food and drink festival


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