The team at The Honister Slate Mine is using its nationally recognised status as one of Cumbria’s best-known attractions to encourage people to ditch major online retailers in favour of supporting local businesses this Christmas.

The attraction and working slate mine at Fleetwith Pike in the northern Lake District is working with several businesses across the National Park to raise awareness of how local support can help them make it through the winter, after a very challenging year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The #Honisterbuylocalchallenge aims to encourage people to buy local this Christmas by showing them examples of just some of the great products and services on-offer in Cumbria, with the attraction’s campaign being supported on their social media channels through the use of a series of videos, in which businesses directly ask viewers to direct their Christmas shopping efforts locally, to support the retailers and attractions on their own doorsteps.

The attraction’s activities and events coordinator Prentice Wilkinson-Weir says, “We’ve seen a lot of calls being made by local organisations in recent weeks, urging residents to do whatever they can to support our brilliant local businesses as they consider how best to get through the traditionally tough winter season. As Honister is such a well-known business – not just locally, but nationally, we really wanted to use our position to add further weight to those calls.

“Living in Cumbria, we are all hugely fortunate to have such a great range of shops, restaurants and attractions nearby. But it’s also about other businesses that might fly under the radar, from electricians, plumbers and painters, to hairdressers. Everyone has really felt the pinch this year, so we’d like to see businesses of all types supported by the thousands of people who live here. Evening something as simple as purchasing a gift card is such a great help for businesses and every sale gives them that little bit more confidence that they will come out of this pandemic even stronger on the other side.

“In short, it’s never been more important for people to show their appreciation than it is now. Something as simple as buying Christmas gifts locally will play a crucial role in helping the Cumbrian economy to recover in the months and years ahead. So before you jump online, have a look locally first.”

Residents who buy locally this Christmas – from any local business, are being urged to share their shopping experience online by using the hashtag #Honisterbuylocalchallenge.

The first business to get onboard with Honister’s campaign was Alpacaly Ever After, which in 2021 is offering full-day treks with Alpacas in the Lake District mountains as a Christmas gift with a difference. Sally’s Cottages, Lakes Distillery and Windermere Lake Cruises are also getting involved in the campaign.

Prentice continues, “We’re also really excited to offer vouchers for a wide range of experiences on-offer here at Honister, from taking on the UK’s original classic Via Ferrata against the backdrop of the stunning Lake District mountains, or taking a walk among the clouds over our high-wire bridge, 2,000 feet above the valley floor. Thrill-seekers can also join us on an adventure deep into the mine through our underground tunnels and caverns on a Honister Mine Tour. All of our vouchers are valid for a whole year after purchase, so there’s plenty of time to use it too!”

Honister is open every day except December 24 & 25, and New Year’s Day. For further information about what’s on offer this Christmas, visit the website here, email or call 017687 77230.

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