BUSINESSES in Norton are encouraging people to shop local with a new initiative.

Traders in Commercial Street have introduced a money-back offer for customers using nine of the local businesses.

The scheme works by refunding shoppers the first hour of parking in Commercial Street car park when they spend £10 in the participating businesses.

Sam Edwards, who runs Norton Hardware, said they had been thinking of running a scheme since the car park opened on the former ATS site.

She said: “We wanted to do something positive to encourage people to use the wonderful range of shops and businesses we have in Commercial Street.

“As a trading area we are doing well and have a good balance of businesses who support each other.

“We hope this will encourage more people to get into the habit of using the car park and spending more time in Commercial Street.”

The shops currently offering the scheme are Norton Hardware, Beecham’s chemist, Norton Aquaria, Just Barbering, Helen’s Nails, The Kitchen, Nesfield & Piercy Family Butchers, Theatre Of Light and Costcutter.

District and Norton town Cllr Di Keal said: “This is a brilliant initiative designed and run by local businesses which I hope will make a big difference to trade in what is a really difficult period for them due to the ongoing roadworks in Norton.

“The constant traffic problems and reduced on-street parking have deterred people from popping into the shops and this gives them the option to get something back for making the effort to stop, park and spend some money in the town.

“Many thanks must go to the businesses and shops, especially Sam and Dean at Norton Hardware, who devised this excellent idea - here’s hoping it will give a big boost to Norton in the run up to Christmas.”