Swaffham sausage goes digital in new project supporting independent traders

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A century-old sausage recipe is going digital this week as part of a new initiative to support independent traders in Swaffham.

Council chiefs and business leaders are teaming up to create a digital high street that will enable customers to buy from several local shops via a single website.

The Shopappy programme, which is being introduced across the Breckland district and has been hailed a “game-changer” by council chiefs, will be launched in Swaffham’s Market Place this Friday.

And, as part of the promotional event, free Swaffham Sizzler hotdogs using a 100-year-old recipe from butcher Impsons, and rolls made by Wellbread Bakers will be available.

The two businesses, along with the Market Cross cafe which is supplying coffee, have all signed up to the scheme already.

Alex Long, of Impson, said: “The Swaffham Sizzler may be from a 100-year-old recipe, but it’s time to bring it into the 21st century.

“Being able to sell it online for the first time really gives us the chance to expand and enhance our business at a time when we and other independent retailers are fighting to keep our businesses alive.”

The launch event, which is on from 11am to 1pm, will also a prize draw and vouchers to encourage shoppers to use the scheme, which is being funded by the district council for its first three years as part of a programme to support its market towns.

The programme will enabled shoppers to buy goods from participating retailers and collect them either in-store or from out-of-hours collection points.

Breckland Council leader William Nunn said: “This is a fantastic initiative which will be a game-changer for our local independent shops.

“The council has committed to subsidise the first 200 independent businesses that sign up and we’ve had a wide range join already, from butchers and bakeries to cafes, craft stores and clothes shops – and many more too.

“This is about so much more than a new website though. This is about encouraging a culture of supporting our independent shops and pulling together to protect our high streets.

“I hope lots of people will come along to help us celebrate the launch and find out more about how they can show their support for independent shops.”

The scheme is the first of its kind to be launched outside Yorkshire, where it was initially developed in Saltaire, near Bradford, two years ago.

Its founder, Dr Jackie Mulligan, said: “This first of our national launches shows how easy it is to get a scheme going.

“We have almost 100 shops and market stalls now joining an amazing shop window for Breckland towns.

“This is a customer-driven initiative to keep our High Streets and town centres thriving, councils, trade organisations, BIDs and retailers need to work together to help encourage more local custom.

“The ability to easily go digital is a big step in the right direction to inspire more people to shop locally. Breckland is helping visitors and residents get convenience with a local conscience.”