While Christmas 2020 is fast becoming a distant memory, and perhaps one you’d rather forget altogether, there were glimmers of festive sparkle to be found in Galashiels, with the town’s warmth and resilience perfectly captured in the Energise Galashiels Trust’s 12 Days of Christmas in Galashiels campaign.
The campaign, which included national media coverage in The Scotsman newspaper, as well as column inches in our local titles,and was made possible with funding from Scotland’s Towns Partnership.
Despite the continued challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, there was plenty of festive fun and spirit in the town in late November, when a team were on hand to film and produce a short promotional video as part of the campaign. It’s fair to say, the few local business owners who were able to take part all seemed to enjoy their time in the spotlight.
The video was the central element of the campaign and beautifully showcased not only the diverse range of businesses located in the town but also the people who work tirelessly to run their business during such challenging times. Online insights and anecdotal feedback indicated the video went on to be viewed by an estimated 100,000 people, watched by people from Galashiels, the Scottish Borders and beyond.
Debbie Paterson, Energise Galashiels Trust volunteer said: “We were overwhelmed by the response to the film, both from the businesses who took part and the public who have been watching and commenting on it. So many people have been surprised by the range of shops we have within our town centre and are now planning to shop local as a result.”
Independent retailers have been hit hard by the pandemic, with footfall on Scotland’s high streets plummeting since March 2020. While the Scottish Borders remains in COVID Protection Level Tier Four, with further restrictions announced recently, there is an opportunity for local people to rediscover the region’s high streets, as soon as it is safe to do so. Like many of the Borders towns, Galashiels offers a broad range of independent shops and national stores.
The festive focus was part of the wider Love Galashiels campaign plan that the Trust is running from September 2020 to March 2021. Future planned campaigns include Love Galashiels, Love Community; Explore Galashiels and Love Galashiels, Love Yourself. Look out for these in the media and on social media channels.