Totally Locally Whitby is no more after the organising group last night chose to cast off the ‘restrictive’ scheme.
A new Whitby-specific group will instead be launched, which will allow the scheme to be tailored to suit the needs of the local community.
James Fearnley, owner of the Dispensary on Hunter Street, said: “I think the group absolutely recognises the kick start Totally Locally gave to bringing people together. But now there are a group of people with their own enthusiasm and ideas about what we would like to do.”
Totally Locally was invented by Chris Sands, who wanted to preserve independent trades in his home town of Hebden Bridge. The project was launched in 2009 and a strict set of rules must be followed if a group wants to utilise the Totally Locally brand.
However, these rules have prevented successful Whitby enterprises such as Botham’s and the east side jet shops owned by CW Sellors from taking part.
Via the Totally Locally Whitby Facebook page, Mr Sands has made it clear there is no wiggle room within his scheme, and so the organisers have decided to branch out on their own.
Mr Fearnley added: “We are going to be presenting a simple set of principles that we think the new organisation will be based on. It won’t be dissimilar to Totally Locally, but it will include all the people who are based in the centre of Whitby and have the interests of the town at heart.”
A meeting is set to be held at La Rosa Hotel on Whitby’s West Cliff on Tuesday at 6pm, where a constitution is set to be debated. Any members of the public or business owners are encouraged to come along and take part.
“We want to really encourage tradesmen, such as carpenters, joiners, plumbers, accountants or lawyers to get involved,” said Mr Fearnley.
The hope would be for a directory of Whitby businesses to be compiled, where residents and businesses can help each other out by using only local traders and Mr Fearnley added: “We’re going to be exploring ways in which we can encourage each other to trade with people within the community.”
The last meeting of the group attracted almost 40 different business owners from around the town. If this early popularity continues, there may be calls from the group to be consulted upon by the local authority before planning decisions are made, such as the choice to allow large national chains to set up within the town.