A campaign has launched that asks people to support the businesses on their doorstep whilst staying COVID-safe.

Non-essential shops opened when the national restrictions were lifted on 2 December and Bradford Council believes pent-up demand, combined with the annual festive season upturn, could present both an important opportunity and a challenge for local retailers.

By purchasing at local stores across the district including on high streets in Bradford, Keighley, Shipley, Bingley and Ilkley – the Council hopes shoppers can support the district economy, help businesses to survive and protect local jobs.

And, by following COVID-secure guidance, residents can slow the spread of the virus, protect against another wave of infections and increase the chances that Tier 3 restrictions will be lifted.

Bradford Markets in the city centre, Shipley, Keighley and Ilkley will be offering a good range of Christmas food and gifts and shopping in well-ventilated and open spaces will reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.

The campaign is funded by the European Regional Development Fund to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “It’s vital people show their support for local businesses and shop safely over this festive season.

“I encourage everyone to give gifts that give twice – once to loved ones, and a second time to protect local jobs and businesses.

“We all need to double our efforts to ensure this is done safely.

“It may take a little bit more time and effort but following the COVID-safe guidance will reduce infections, hospitalisations and deaths.

“If done properly, this will help us avoid a third spike and bring us all closer to restrictions being lifted and getting back to our old lives which we all miss.”