1 December 2020

A photograph of Tavistock High Street with Christmas decorations and the message 'Support Tavistock'

The run up to Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for retailers, and this year especially, shoppers are being asked to Support Tavistock and buy local.

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on everyone and hard hit retail businesses are working hard to survive. West Devon Borough Council, in partnership with Tavistock BID and the Town Council, are encouraging visitors to buy from their local retailers this Christmas-time.

With so much on offer, from Tavistock's fantastic high street, the unique and varied independent shops and the atmospheric Pannier Market and Butchers Hall, there is so much available to buy.  The stunning Christmas lights and trees provide a much-needed festive atmosphere in the historic town centre that simply cannot be found online and needs to be enjoyed in person to fully appreciate. There is also late night shopping until 7pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout December to give extra time to buy.

Buying Christmas presents is always a challenge, especially if on a budget, but there are a wide range of prices and gifts on offer to meet even the most discerning shopper's needs. Don't forget, you can also buy the Tavistock Gift Card for those who like to choose their own gifts! Together with a wealth of expert knowledge from local shopkeepers, they are on hand to help shoppers track down those difficult-to-buy-for presents.

So, run down to the high street and find a suitable gift for a friend who loves the outdoors and keeping fit, or make your way to the craft and stationery shops for the arty relative who loves to get creative. A homemade present or delicious fresh local produce is a great idea for a gift, and there are oodles of perfect options to be found in Butchers Hall.  Visit the Pannier Market where you can pick up those more individual niche and vintage gifts, which stand out from the crowd. 

On your shopping route, you need to remember that tasty Christmas food for the festive table. Whether turkey, beef or nut roast is what you are searching for, options are aplenty in the wonderful butchers and greengrocers on offer.  Finish off the table with a stunning centrepiece from the town's talented florists.

Wrap up warm with a wide range of clothes shops on offer for all age ranges and styles. So grab a stylish gift for the fashionable family and perhaps a little outfit for yourself at the same time. While you are at it, why not go the whole hog and book yourself in for haircut, and manicure too?! Go on, you know you deserve it!

To make sure everyone is kept safe while out and about, the councils have been helping local businesses get to grips with the COVID restrictions.  If you are a bit nervous about venturing out, please do not worry too much because the local shops and businesses have worked very hard to keep you safe.  From safety signs, to reduced numbers in store at a time, one-way systems and hand gel at the ready, everything has been thought of in advance. 

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: "It's been really difficult for local businesses this year and especially over the last month when they should have been gearing up for the important Christmas trading period. 

"I really understand and appreciate the sacrifices they have made as part of the national effort to reduce the spread of COVID, keep us all safe and prevent unnecessary deaths.  It would be amazing if our community would now rally round them, keep Christmas local and make a special effort to buy from our local businesses this year of all years."

The Borough Council has continued to support Tavistock high street with financial aid during the pandemic. They are completely committed to doing what they can to help secure the town's economic stability.

If that was not enough to persuade you to shop local and Support Tavistock, West Devon Borough Council have also planned free parking after 3 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays in all West Devon owned car parks. Free after three and open until 7pm, gives you four Golden Hours to enjoy your safe, open and festive Tavistock.  

Janna Sanders from Tavistock Business Improvement District (BID), said: "It is crucial that we keep Christmas local this year. More than ever before, the high street depends on support from locals and visitors for its very survival. The BID has launched the 'Four Golden Hours' campaign to promote free after three parking and extended trading hours on Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays throughout December.

"We want to spread out visits to the town centre over a longer period in order to increase footfall while keeping people safe and ensuring they enjoy their visit. We have also launched the Tavistock Gift Card, which takes the decision out of gifting and directly supports the local economy. It is a great option for Christmas this year and is perfect for our special town."

Cllr Mrs Anne Johnson, Mayor of Tavistock Town Council, said: "Tavistock Town Council has worked in partnership with West Devon Borough Council and Tavistock BID throughout the pandemic. It's really good news that the Pannier Market and Butchers Hall will be re-opening on Wednesday 2 December and will continue to trade up until Christmas. There really is no better place than Tavistock to buy those special Christmas gifts."

West Devon Borough Council's, Cllr Steve Hipsey, Ward Member for Tavistock North, said: "Business owners, local authorities and other organisations such as the BID, have risen to the challenge of keeping the high street alive in Tavistock. They have come up with many innovative ideas to help businesses restore themselves to their former glory as and when things improve, hopefully in the near future. It's vitally important that everyone supports these efforts as much as possible by shopping locally while observing the current safety regulations in force. Please have a look at all the exciting things on offer. I know that I'll be giving Tavistock Gift Cards so that my friends and family can chose their own goodies, even into the new year!" 

To find out more about what is offer in Tavistock, you have a number of options to try.

Go to www.tavistockbid.co.uk, www.visittavistock.co.uk or www.tavistock.gov.uk to find out more. Alternatively, just pop along to the town and be delighted at all on offer.

In the run up to Christmas, as well as Tavistock, all of West Devon's towns have so much to offer and are a delight to visit. This year, more than ever, they need your support to help them to survive.