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Shop local campaigns encouraging shoppers to support businesses in East Hampshire

Petersfield High Street - picture credited to Jonny Freeman

Christmas shoppers across East Hampshire and surrounding areas are being urged to support their local stores and businesses during the festive season.

Various campaigns have got the backing of councils and politicians to support local companies, rather than choosing to shop online instead.

Kathryn Ellis-Blandford runs the Petersfield Pulse community group.

She's told The Breeze she’s had a warm reception to her efforts to promote businesses in the town:

"I've been round to all the local shops to encourage to post on our Facebook page about their offers this Christmas.

"It's had a really good response."

Kathryn's told us it's vital people continue to support the local high street:

"None of us want to see a ghost town.

"The whole point of Petersfield is that it's a market town and it needs people to visit.

"We need to make sure we support our local stores."

Meanwhile, over in Alton (pictured above), a variety of festive events and offers have been introduced this month to try and bring people to the town.

Alton's hosting the only illuminated Santa hat of its kind by the Alton Assembly Rooms.

It was the centrepiece of last weekend's Santa Run - and has attracted a lot of attention on social media and in person already.

You can see a video of the Santa hat below.

We've been speaking to Alton Town Council's leader, Matthew Bayliss.

He's told us the town's economy is in good shape this Christmas, but he's keen for people to make sure they visit over the coming days:

"It's a fantastic time of year.

"The businesses are really pulling out the stops - and the businesses are really pulling out all the stops to bring people to the town.

"We want to make sure people enjoy themselves, but also have a positive benefit on the town."

In the video below you can hear more from Matthew Bayliss.

He was speaking to our reporter Jonny Freeman at Alton Town Hall.

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