Living Lerwick Ltd organised the first ever Shopping Week in Lerwick town centre, which ran from Saturday 11th to Friday 17th July.

BID Manager, Christena Irvine said: “Before I started in this role, I had no idea how much we actually have going on in the town centre. It’s a much busier place than people realise. The idea behind having a shopping week was to give people extra reasons to come and have a look and to give the businesses an opportunity to showcase what they do.

A lot of the businesses took part and in some cases in very imaginative ways. This, coupled with the extra activities organised by Living Lerwick drew extra people into the town, especially on the brighter days.

It would be great to have a Lerwick shopping week as successful as the one in Stromness. Since Stromness are in their 67th year, we have a fair bit of catching up to do but we plan to improve it year on year. It is bound to take a few years for this event to fulfil its potential but we were very pleasantly surprised with the great ideas and level of enthusiasm from the businesses.”

The businesses really made an effort and drew extra people through their doors with: a grand opening at D W Silver Antiques and Interiors; meet the maker events at Ninian, N-graved, J G Rae and Shetland Soap Company; shaving the legs of police officers at Boots; style advisors at M & Co; loyalty card launch and Shetland picnic by Marion Armitage at the Shetland Times Bookshop; product demonstrations and random daily prize winners at Harry’s; competitions from the Peerie Shop and Ninian and promotions from Smiths of Lerwick, Westside Pine, George Robertson Ltd, the Peerie Shop, Phusiam Restaurant and many more.

The meet the maker events gave an opportunity for people to see behind the scenes. Joanna Hunter of Ninian said: “Local folk were really interested to see what goes on be hind the scenes. A lot of folk didn’t realise that we make the knitwear in the shop. It was lovely to have suc h a different variety of folk coming through the shop”.

Local musicians did an excellent job performing at Harrison Square all day on the Saturday and lunch times for the rest of the week. The Jelly Jo Workshops, Above water/underwater Shetland presentations, Bikeability stall, sandcastle competition and pavement art competition provided entertainment. Details of the competition winners on the Living Lerwick Facebook page.

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