RETAILERS in Bishop’s Waltham have been celebrating their own variation on Independence Day with a new marketing campaign in a bid to increase footfall.

The new Totally Locally campaign aims to bring together independent shops throughout the town to work together by increasing communication levels and bringing in new marketing techniques.

It is hoped, by doing so, there will be more support for traders and will bring in a higher footfall to the town.

Visiting the market was Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery, who discussed the new platform with Emma Bondsfield, co-owner of local accessories store Luvvit Wantit and Amanda Redwin, Owner of Refunk interiors.

Ms Bondsfield said: “You might spend £5 a week on coffees. Are you going to spend it in the chains or are you going to go to the independents where they have lovely homemade cakes and are family-owned and staffed by local people? I know what I would rather do. We want to get away from spending money online and in the supermarkets.

“We actually clinched the numbers. We took the Census data and there are roughly 12,000 people of a wage-earning age who have a disposable income and if each of them spent £5 per week it would bring in an extra £2.5million here into our local economy.

“What people don’t realise is that by buying online or in their supermarket they lose out on all this wonderful independent produce and force local entrepreneurs out of business. We want to break that cycle and show people that buying local really is the key.”

A specialist market day, dubbed Independents’ Day, was hosted until 7pm on Friday (July 4) with a variety of stalls taking part including the Durley strawberry and ice-cream party, a Pimms tent, arts and crafts stalls while local band The Scary Biscuits performed live for the swathes of consumers.

Mr Hollingbery said: “What Bishop’s Waltham offers is a fantastic array of shops and what they do is make sure people understand what’s on offer. It’s wonderful to see all the shops working together making this happen.”