A COUNCIL is inviting independent businesses to take part in a marketing initiative to attract people back to town centre shopping.

Following in the footsteps of Hyndburn Council's 'Think Hyndburn' campaign, Blackburn with Darwen Council are launching 'Shop Darwen', a scheme which aims to support local independent businesses by working together on promotions to boost the daytime economy.

Regeneration boss, Cllr Phil Riley, said: "We want to promote the wide and varied independent retailers in Darwen using the ‘Shop Darwen’ branding to create interest both on social media and across the town centre. We are looking for local businesses to take advantage of this free scheme and get on board."

Businesses who sign up will be given Shop Darwen branded window stickers and posters and they will have leaflets about the scheme for their customers.

By shopping at these places people are contributing to the local economy and supporting local business people and entrepreneurs.

Once up and running, Shop Darwen will be offering customers who make a purchase over £5 at participating Shop Darwen businesses, the chance to enter in to a monthly prize draw to win £50 worth of Shop Darwen vouchers.

Anyone interested in signing up should message: @DarwenTC on Facebook, email info@darwenmarket.com or pick up an application form from the office at Sweet Vintage, Darwen Market Square.