The “Big Barney Bounce Back” – campaign to help town shops survive and prosper

MARKETING experts who say they are passionate about saving the traditional high street are to launch a campaign for a “Big Barney Bounce Back”.

Nick Danks and Andrew Bartlett, who run Save the High Street Ltd, have teamed up with the Making Barney Brighter Together group to help independent businesses “get open and stay open”.

It comes as the government has allowed all shops to reopen this week. Free advice and support will be offered to businesses in Barnard Castle and a major publicity campaign is planned.

Mr Danks said: “We’re both North East lads. Andrew went to school in Barnard Castle and I’m just up the road in Durham. We are very proud of where we are from and proud of the North East. We feel like the cities get more support and we want to put our arms around the towns. It is a passion for us and we are in this for the long term.

“We’ve got a lot of experience in marketing and we’re planning a big campaign to relaunch the high street and we want as many independent traders on board as possible.”

As well as planning a re-launch for Barnard Castle which will include social media marketing and a leaflet campaign, the pair are keen to help businesses save money.

Mr Danks added: “We’re not part of the council, but we are a kind of go-between. We know some councils can be difficult to work with and we know the grants and funds that are available.

“We do a six-week business improvement programme and can help point out where people can save money and it’s all free.”

The pair say they can help improve efficiency, marketing, product sourcing and a businesses overall strategy.

“One of the great things about small towns is the independent businesses that make them individual. It’s all about shopping local and keeping the local, independent businesses alive to help drive the tourism back to the town,” Mr Dinks said.

“We’ll have a dedicated webpage for Barnard Castle and it’s all about getting the word out about some of the fantastic businesses here.”

Sandra Moorhouse, from Making Barney Brighter Together (MBBT), said: “Back in September, Andrew and I met and looked at ways that perhaps he could help us keep our high street. As a local man, Andrew knew the local scene and of course at that time things were going fairly well and Barney seemed to be bucking the trend for retaining its retail outlets.

“A very tentative approach was made through MBBT to business but the response was low and we felt the time was not right. We continued to meet and discuss and eventually ran a small project with one business as a prototype.”

Work was just being completed on the project when the coronavirus pandemic began.

She added: “I talked again with Andrew and Nick and we all agreed that if this wasn’t the right time to go ahead with their support, there never would be one.

“We are all passionate about getting the town back on its feet and building the Big Barney Bounce Back.

“Working together in partnership with the local business, community and local authorities we are determined to build a strong economy for the town and a fabulous service for local people and the many visitors we are determined to attract.

“Let’s remember what the traders did for us in our hour of need and reward them with our loyalty and let’s continue to shop local.”

To find out more about the campaign and how to get involved, visit


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