THE Evesham Journal, which has been proud to champion the town since 1860, recognised the impact the closure of Abbey Bridge would have.
That is why it launched its Come In, We’re Open campaign in March 2013, just as news was beginning to break that the 10-week closure planned would have to take place later than scheduled.
Throughout the campaign the newspaper has kept readers informed, in print and online, of all the developments around the bridge project.
The Journal has also supported local traders with special low-cost advertising deals and has published free Meet Your Local Trader profiles virtually every week since the closure.
Kim Dunn, owner of Bonk clothing in Evesham High Street, thanked the Journal and advertising executive Julie Remfry.
“A massive thank-you to Julie and the Journal for their support during the Abbey Bridge closure with Meet Your Local Trader [our weekly front-page promotion], from which I received a great response. I hope we can see our town grow and prosper now the bridge has reopened.”
Other traders were also delighted with the campaign.
David and Joanne Packwood, from the Bait Box in the High Street, said: “Having been in business for 19 years and thinking we were well established, by having the free meet your local trader editorial and taking advantage of the low cost advertising offered to us during the Come In, We’re Open campaign highlighted to us the fact there was a large amount of people unaware of our shop.
"We would like to thank Julie and the Journal for giving us the opportunity of attracting new customers and giving a reminder to our existing customers that we are here and thanks to the Journal for the continued support.”
Aly Adlkish, at Avonside Motors, said: “After being in business for 30 years we were surprised at how many people were not aware that our business was here.
"Thank you to the Evesham Journal for its continued support during very hard times and for giving us the free Meet Your Local Trader editorial and putting us on the map and letting people know we are here.
“We would also like to thank our regular customers for their continued support during the bridge closure.”
Chris Groves at Hampton Farm Shop said: “It was a fantastic campaign. It made a difference to us. There were people who hadn’t been in for a while who came back and said they had seen us in the Journal.”
Lyn Knight at Abbey Appliances summed up the campaign by saying: “We want to say a big thank you to the Evesham Journal for pulling out all of the stops during what has been a difficult time for local traders.
"Not only is it good to know local businesses have the support of the paper, but it is also fantastic that Evesham’s independent shops have been promoted so much in recent months.”
Throughout the campaign this newspaper has been consistent in its belief that the rebuilding of Abbey Bridge is a positive step forward for the town.
It is a key element of our transport infrastructure, and it was essential that it was replaced and built to withstand the demands of 21st-century traffic.
We believe the structure will, like its predecessor, become an iconic symbol of Evesham in the years ahead. Its reopening marks a new phase in Evesham’s history. Damage has been done by delays to the rebuilding of the bridge. The perception has grown among some people that Evesham is plagued by traffic problems, and so should be avoided.
But that is in the past now. We believe the town’s best days are still ahead of it, but recognise hard work is required to rebuild its reputation as a top-ranking destination for visitors and shoppers.
With that in mind we are winding up, with thanks to all who have supported it, our Come In, We’re Open campaign.
It has served its purpose in seeing the town through difficult times. But now we want to sound a new note.
We are forming a partnership with Worcestershire County Council, Wychavon District Council, Evesham Market Town Partnership, as well as the traders themselves, to champion the town in the months ahead.
Our Grow in Evesham campaign launches officially on Thursday, April 10, and will be banging the drum about all the fabulous things Evesham has for visitors and shoppers.
Our free page of business profiles and bargain rates for advertisers will continue, and we will be running regular live blogs on eveshamjournal.co.uk to help keep people in touch will everything happening in the Vale over the economically vital summer months.
We will also carry on with our popular Meet Your Local Trader promotion on the front page of the Journal. We will be active on social media too, and we would be delighted if you join us.
Don’t miss your Journal next week for details of our super new campaign.
Together we can help make the Vale of Evesham prosper. Join us and help us Grow In Evesham!
How to join the Grow In Evesham campaign
It's easy. All you have to do is include the hashtag #GrowInEvesham in your own tweets and Facebook posts.
Our searches will pick them up. We'll then retweet them, include them in our live blog on the eveshamjournal.co.uk home page, and print some in the paper too.
Bookmark these addresses now: