By Ian McConnell

East Renfrewshire Council’s leader has voiced hopes that a major new campaign to inspire people to shop in, explore and “love” the local authority area will help business owners and their families, the economy, and employment.

Tony Buchanan said: “It will support jobs and help strengthen our communities and get them back on their feet following the pandemic.”

East Renfrewshire’s new “place brand”, “Here”, features 17 local businesses in the council area.

The council said: “The new ‘Here’ identity aims to unite the area’s unique towns and people, encouraging a shared sense of pride among residents following the effects of the pandemic, with the ability to promote East Renfrewshire as a desirable place in which to live, work, visit and invest over the longer term.

“To support economic recovery following the Covid pandemic, the branding is featured in a new campaign inspiring local people to shop, dine, explore and love East Renfrewshire.”

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The local authority engaged with focus groups including residents, business owners, business improvement districts and staff in developing the "Here" campaign.

It said: “Feedback highlighted that people across the authority have a strong sense of local pride and identity about the individual towns and villages where they live.”

Mr Buchanan said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented disruption to the economy and this new place brand ... is one of a number of initiatives planned to support local businesses. East Renfrewshire has an excellent range of businesses to meet many needs locally and it’s been fantastic to have local business owners involved in our new campaign. Encouraging local people to support local businesses more will have a considerable benefit to the local economy, local business owners and their families.”

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The council noted the branding was supported by a “colourful design” and local photography, “anchored by a graphical patchwork showcasing the diversity of the different towns, landmarks and activities”. It added: “The patchwork is inspired by the textile industry history of the area, with a modern twist.”

The campaign, funded by the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund and Scotland’s Town Partnership’s Love Local Fund, will be supported by social media video interviews with businesses.