Business owners and other local stakeholders at the launch of Sacriston Shops

Championing independent businesses

Officially launched in November 2017, Sacriston Shops is a new business support scheme that was an outcome of MutualGain focus groups held with local residents and businesses and Durham Constabulary in Sacriston in 2016.

Supported by the Sacriston Community Development Group and the local councillors for Sacriston division, the aim of the Sacriston Shops project is to champion retail and other businesses that are based in Sacriston, County Durham – whether those are high-street businesses, or enterprises that are home-based, mobile, or online.

A major focus of the project is making Sacriston more visible online, by using social media to promote its existing businesses and spread positive messages.

At the same time, by showcasing the village’s appeal as a vibrant, up-and-coming place to invest in, the intention is to support Sacriston’s regeneration by helping to fill empty units and create a more attractive mix of retail uses.

Project activities

Commissioned to deliver the project for a day a month, is focusing on developing local traders’ digital skills, and building an online presence for Sacriston’s business community.

Digital marketing training

We are providing free, one-to-one social media training sessions, to help retailers set up their own business profiles, showcase their businesses through great photographs, and grow their digital skills and confidence.

As a result, those businesses are better equipped to promote their own businesses online, while also being able to play their part in championing the wider Sacriston offer.

Establishing and managing Sacriston’s online presence

We have set up and manage @sacristonshops accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and post and share regular updates on behalf of the project.

The Facebook account has grown to over 600 followers, and is achieving a monthly organic reach of around 3,000 people (in a village with a population of 5,000).

Over 30 different Sacriston retailers and other businesses have been featured to date, which is helping to raise awareness of those businesses among the local community, but also to foster new networks and connections between those businesses.

By providing an outlet to promote local business, the Sacriston Shops project hopes to help those businesses grow, create local employment opportunities, and encourage residents of Sacriston division to spend their money within the area.

Can we help your area?

If you’re interested in promoting and working with retailers in your area, drop us a line and we can have a chat.

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