HAMPSHIRE Fare is launching a campaign to support local producers as lockdown eases.

Entitled 'Stay Loyal Stay Local', the initiative will remind and encourage people to continue trading with county businesses.

The shops involved are promoting it by using artwork in their windows and across online platforms.

Tracy Nash, commercial manager at Hampshire Fare, said: “This campaign is a rallying cry. It is a celebration of the brilliant service people have received from independent retailers and local producers during lockdown.

"More importantly, however, the objective of our campaign is to ask: why should that experience of going into a local store, being looked after, receiving personal service, perhaps being provided with home delivery, end with lockdown easing?"

The campaign is backed by Hampshire County Council and Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (EM3).

Councillor Rob Humby, deputy leader and executive member for economy, transport and environment at the county council, said: "This coronavirus outbreak has shown us how we can live differently. Local food shops and suppliers stepped up immediately when the Government asked us to stay at home as much as possible, playing an enormous role in helping us keep our cupboards stocked when we needed to reduce our travel and stay safe.

"We are now at a turning point as restrictions on our travel start to ease, and we are in a position to make choices about how we want our future to look.

"I’m delighted the County Council is able to support this initiative to support Hampshire’s economic recovery from the pandemic, and would urge people to keep hold of some of the positive lifestyle changes we’ve had to make in the last few months and continue to use local shops, supporting local producers and suppliers."