Today the Lincolnshire Echo launches its Love Local campaign in a bid to celebrate all that is great and good about our county.
Run in partnership with the city and county councils and Lincolnshire Co-operative, the campaign is designed to kickstart growth and inspire confidence in the local economy.
Its aim is to boost county businesses by encouraging local spending and grow confidence by highlighting the hard work and successes which take place across Lincolnshire.
Coming hot on the heels of Lincolnshire Day on Monday, October 1, the campaign will run for the next 12 months.
It will uncover what's being achieved in industry, it will explore how Echo readers can help themselves through the economic downturn and it will shout loud about what great things are happening here.
Lincolnshire Media Publisher Richard Duxbury said: "In the current challenging environment, there are many things we can do little to influence.
"One thing that we at Lincolnshire Media feel we can affect though is confidence.
"We live in a fantastic county, with fantastic people and we should celebrate all that we have going on locally.
"Love Local will celebrate and commemorate all that is good about Lincolnshire, but also educate and inform our residents and businesses about how to navigate through these tough economic times.
"What makes our campaign so unique is that rather than have a short-term focus, we will be running this campaign for the next 12 months.
"My thanks to the three key local businesses who have joined us in this partnership."
Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Here at Lincolnshire County Council we’ve always loved local. That’s why last year we spent more than £300 million on goods and services from local businesses.
"That represents around half of our total spend, and we continue to work with small firms to help them bid more competitively for county council business. We also run a number of initiatives that help promote Lincolnshire products both here in the county and further afield.
“A prime example is Select Lincolnshire, which has a strong tradition of helping local businesses take their products to new markets, and last year spearheading a campaign that saw Lincolnshire named Britain’s favourite food spot.
"The council also works hard to make sure Lincolnshire remains a great place to live and work. Despite the financial climate, we’ve continued to invest in major infrastructure projects, such as the Lincoln eastern bypass and next-generation broadband.
“We’re firmly behind the Love Local campaign and hope you will be too.
Ric Metcalfe, the leader of the City of Lincoln Council, said: “The City of Lincoln Council supports the local community and economy by encouraging people to work, study, shop and spend time in the city.
“Lincoln has a long history of entrepreneurship and innovation, and the council helps make sure that the recipe is right to encourage businesses to start up in or move to the city, and to stay and grow when they get here.
One recent success story is the University of Lincoln, which will soon become one of the UK’s top 50. This is a fantastic achievement for such a young establishment and the council has worked closely with them. The council also works with its partners across the city to help attract tourists.
Together, we have helped make it easier for visitors to get here and work to highlight what is available. This encourages new visitors to come and see the historic city. It also tempts those who have been before to revisit.
The city hosts many events throughout the year, with none bigger than the Lincoln Christmas Market, which brings an estimated £10 million into the local economy, with spending in shops, restaurants and hotels. Lincoln is truly a gem of a city and is becoming recognised nationally and internationally for being a great place to be. The city council is proud to back the Love Local campaign.
The chief executive of Lincolnshire Co-operative, Ursula Lidbetter, said: “As a co-operative we recycle all of our profits back in to the local community and we’re keen to play our part in driving economic growth for the county.
“Love Local is what we do – as well as being owned by our 210,000 dividend card holders, we employ 2,700 local people and we also support hundreds of local charities and community groups every year.
“One thing we feel really passionate about is local sourcing. In all our foodstores and our home stores, you’ll find a range of county products. It’s not just food either – from the famed Lincolnshire sausage, tasty cheeses and delicious ales to pillows, duvets and even garden furniture crafted locally, there’s a real variety and we’re proud to be able to offer our customers a local choice.
“We’re excited to be working with Lincolnshire Media on the Love Local campaign, and hope it will give everyone lots of ideas on how they can love local and live local. Even just choosing to buy local bread or meat is a good start.”