Wayland businesses back competition

BUSINESSES in Wayland are backing a competition which could boost the local economy by encouraging people to explore their local trades.

BUSINESSES in Wayland are backing a competition which could boost the local economy by encouraging people to explore their local trades.

More than 30 independent shops in Watton and surrounding villages have joined the scheme, which challenges customers to assemble a jigsaw puzzle by collecting a different piece from each store.

The competition gives traders an opportunity to promote their goods as customers have to ask a specific question about the business to receive a puzzle piece in return.

Those who successfully complete the jigsaw will be entered into a draw to win an entire prize fund made up of goods donated by the participating retailers.

The scheme was launched by Breckland Council's Pride in Breckland team and the Wayland Chamber of Commerce.

Salena Dawson, chairman of Wayland Chamber of Commerce, said: 'I felt we had a responsibility at the Chamber in these hard times to do something proactive.'

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'The competition enables the community to find out more about businesses in the Wayland area and has the specific result of increasing trade.'

'We are supposed to be the voice of Wayland businesses and we have been quiet for too long.'

Breckland Council, which was approached by Wayland Chamber of Commerce to design the initiative, believes the competition will persuade people to shop locally, buy seasonal produce, and travel fewer miles for their goods.

The council's executive member for communities, Adrian Stasiak, said: 'Breckland Council is very much aware of the challenges facing independent local shops.

'We want to encourage residents to buy locally whenever possible and we are looking at incentives to move this forward.

'It is vital that we all support our local shops and independent retailers if we are to preserve the economic vitality of our town centres.'

Questions customers must ask to receive a puzzle piece include:

How many minutes free would you get with our independent financial advisor? From Smith and Pinching.

Why are you called Dragonfly? From the Dragonfly Gallery.

Name one variety of apple, plum or pear grown on an orchard? From Ashill Fruit Farm.

There are 28 shops taking part in Watton, one in Ashill and one in Griston. A list of participating shops can be obtained from Selena Dawson Solicitors on Thetford Road in Watton, or by calling Breckland Council on 01362 656870.

Completed jigsaws should be returned to Salena Dawson Solicitors, Smith and Pinching on Middle Street, or Wayland House on the High Street before midday on Friday July 23.

The prize draw will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday, July 24 at the Queens Hall, Watton, with a chance to win a television, gift vouchers, books, a free sim card, a free will writing service, massage and body lotion gift set, as well as a host of other items.