1 December 2020

A photograph of Okehampton High Street with Christmas decorations and the message 'Support Okehampton'

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a crushing effect on the high street and Okehampton shopkeepers need support now more than ever, so please buy local this Christmas.

West Devon Borough Council is working with Everything Okehampton and Okehampton Town Council on a shop local campaign to highlight the wonderful range of exciting gifts you can buy within the town.

Soak up the festive atmosphere in the Red Lion Yard, Victorian Arcade and on the high street.  Visit the lovely range of unique shops and boutiques to buy presents both big and small.

Reap the benefits of buying from your local shopkeeper, who has a wealth of knowledge about the stock they hold, ready to support the shopper. Something that is hard to find when shopping online.

In Okehampton, whether buying for the old or young, shoppers can buy those individual antique and electrical gifts that are fun to shop for.  Perhaps the excitement of buying a bike, or some delicious local produce and do not forget those beautiful floral displays, which always make the Christmas table so very special.  

For looking your best, there is also the chance to buy some new Christmas clothes or find something special for those clothes lovers in the family. If you enjoy craft and art, there are fantastic selections available for those special handmade gifts and artist supplies.  Have you thought about using craft materials to think about wrapping your presents differently this year for a greener Christmas with less waste?

Shopping with children? Do not worry, because the Town Council have thought of everything. There is lots on offer to keep them occupied with a Carnival quiz, a Spot the Reindeer and Odd Object in the Window to keep them busy. There are even rumours afoot that Father Christmas and a street performer may be making special visits! 

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: "It's been really difficult for local businesses this year and especially over the last month when they should have been gearing up for the important Christmas trading period. 

"I really understand and appreciate the sacrifices they have made as part of the national effort to reduce the spread of COVID, keep us all safe and prevent unnecessary deaths.  It would be amazing if our community would now rally round them, keep Christmas local and make a special effort to buy from our local businesses this year of all years." 

Shops in the town have been working hard to make their businesses COVID safe, with hand gel, social distancing and reduced numbers in the shops at any one time.

When visitors come back to their local shops from Wednesday 2 December, they can do so with complete confidence that measures are in place to keep them safe and reduce the spread of the infection.

The Borough Council has supported Okehampton's high street during the pandemic, with a package of financial assistance and this continues with free parking in Mill Road car park, after 3pm daily during December and all day on Saturdays. 

Okehampton Town Mayor, Cllr Julie Yelland, said: "I can't begin to thank everyone enough for the way you have responded during this pandemic by keeping yourselves, your families and members of the wider community safe and supported. 

"In Okehampton we are very fortunate to have such a wonderful selection of locally owned independent shops who are looking forward to welcoming you through their doors as we emerge from the second lockdown and look towards Christmas.

"The town centre is looking very festive with its gorgeous display of Christmas Lights and parking in the Simmons Park and Mill Road car parks is free after 3pm and all day on Saturdays during December so please do head into town and enjoy all there is to offer."

Everything Okehampton, Cllr Christine Marsh, said: "As a Town Councillor and joint partner in Everything Okehampton we are committed to helping all the businesses within our town. Shopping locally has never been more important than now. Please support us." 

Find out more about the delights on offer, at www.visitokehampton.co.uk

Shop local this Christmas - Okehampton's got it all!

In the run up to Christmas, as well as Okehampton, all of West Devon's towns have so much to offer and are a delight to visit. This year, more than ever, they need your support to help them to survive.