Shop Local Letchworth: ‘Working from home can boost our high street economy’

Commuters who are now working from home could boost Letchworth's local economy. Picture: Jacob Savill

Commuters who are now working from home could boost Letchworth's local economy. Picture: Jacob Savill - Credit: Archant

An extra £1.5m could be generated for the local economy, should every former commuter now working from home spend money in the town.

Letchworth Heritage Foundation CEO Graham Fisher. Picture: LHF

Letchworth Heritage Foundation CEO Graham Fisher. Picture: LHF - Credit: Archant

The Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, which is responsible for maintaining the Garden City Principles laid out by creator Ebenezer Howard, has been supporting businesses through the pandemic.

In his latest blog post Chief executive of the Foundation, Graham Fisher has said: “Times are undoubtedly tough but there are also positive changes emerging. Some of our local retailers have faced the challenges of lockdown head on and created new online offers or diversified their products and range.

“The importance of shopping local has never been greater and as more people are now working from home there are more reasons for them to shop locally.

“Looking at national data, if each Letchworth commuter who is now home working just spent an extra £10 a week in the town centre that would generate £36,000 per week for the local economy. Over a typical working year that’s an incredible £1.5m.

Discover Letchworth is run by the Heritage Foundation. Picture: Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

Discover Letchworth is run by the Heritage Foundation. Picture: Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation - Credit: Archant

“We are delighted to see the Letchworth BID champion that message through its Shop Local and Lunch Local campaigns and we are keen to support these initiatives.”

He went on to discuss how the pandemic has reinforced the organisations focus on local economic development, not just in the town centre but across the industrial and commercial parts of town.

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“We believe we can play a role in that area,” he continued. “Supporting new enterprise, building stronger local networks and the Foundation is also adapting to thinking differently about how we undertake some of our activities.

“Throughout all this turmoil some core garden city features have come again to the fore.

“Our commitment to developing new housing in the town, particularly affordable housing, is reinvigorated, and we must press on to build more places for people to enjoy a good and healthy life. If we can do all this, and we are committed to doing so, I believe we can bounce back better.”

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