New video campaign to boost Christmas shopping in Swanage

With the Sandbanks Ferry out of service and not bringing its usual daytrippers into Swanage in the run up to Christmas, the town’s Chamber of Trade has been out filming what’s in the shops to tempt shoppers to visit.

The light-hearted mini films that have been posted on social media are the brainwave of chair of Swanage Chamber of Trade, Caroline Finch who has been out filming around the town searching out all the most interesting gift ideas.

Mayor Tina Fostyer and deputy Chris Moreton
Swanage Chamber of Trade

The Swanage Town Mayor Tina Foster and her deputy Chris Moreton discuss shopping

The mayor and her deputy were eager to support the idea

Caroline, who is also a local councillor, persuaded Swanage Town Mayor Tina Foster and her deputy Chris Moreton to allow her to record them taking a break from their shopping, so she could find out what they were buying for Christmas.

Tina, queen of the dance floor, has been out, quite naturally, buying disco lights and it probably isn’t too much of a spoiler to find out that Chris lets his partner Liz do most of the present buying!

The films can be viewed on the newly set up Facebook page called Shopping in Swanage.

Caroline Finch
Swanage Chamber of Trade

Chair of Swanage Chamber of Trade Caroline Finch getting creative to promote Swanage’s shops

“Could well be the end for some businesses this winter”

Councillor Caroline Finch said:

“I set up the Shopping in Swanage facebook site to link and bring together all our wonderful shops. I used to have a shop myself and know full well what a difference the ferry being off makes to the town.

“I have so much sympathy with the current businesses in town, coping not only with the reduction in the number of visitors due to the ferry not operating but also with their high energy costs. Together this could well be the end for some businesses this winter and it’s not their fault – it’s really tragic.”

Sandbanks Ferry damage
Sandbanks Ferry

The Sandbanks Ferry in Falmouth dry dock awaiting repair

Sandbanks Ferry out of action for months

The chain ferry that usually operates between Studland and Sandbanks is expected to be out of action until the end of February 2023. It was originally taken out of service on Monday 31st October 2022 to undergo planned maintenance in Cornwall.

However while being towed to Falmouth for the refit, the prow of the ferry was severely damaged. Now a prow arm and the two vehicle ramps need to be replaced and the ramps, which are being manufactured in Poland are not expected to be fitted and tested until late February 2023. It was meant to be back operating at the beginning of December 2022.

This is all against a backdrop of a weak UK economy and high inflation, making it hard for consumers to afford to buy essentials let alone gift items.

Christmas lights in Station Road

Station Road all a glow for Christmas

Christmas lights in Institute Road

Institue Road full of festive twinkle

Full of quirky independent shops

Swanage is full of quirky independent shops offering something different from the usual retail chains. It has one of the best, if not the best Christmas lights in Purbeck as well as the invigorating sea air and the breathtaking scenery of Swanage Bay.

There’s also all the traditional fare of the seaside – fish and chips, the arcades and ice cream, even in winter!

Along the seafront the beach huts are hosting a pop up Christmas market called Artisans on the Beach, where local craftspeople and artists are selling original and handmade gifts.

There’s plenty of choice from artwork to Christmas decorations to knitted hats available at the beach huts, which are open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Sunday 1st January 2023.

Institute Road 23 Aug 2022

Institute Road

Heart of Swanage shops
Swanage Chamber of Trade

Heart of Swanage behind Institute Road and Station Road

Station Road

Station Road

“Time to support our shops more than ever!”

Caroline added:

“Not being a film expert, I did try to get some local actors to help me, but it was difficult getting everyone together at the same time, so I just thought I would have a go anyway and the mayor and her deputy have been great sports!”

“Parking in the Main Beach car park and Broad Road car park behind Prince Albert Gardens is only £1 for the day, which allows people to easily park and visit, buy some gifts, stay for lunch and enjoy our amazing Christmas decorations in town.

“There’s also the opportunity to visit Santa on Swanage Pier and experience the magical Steam and Lights steam train trip on Swanage Railway too.

“I’m planning to film in more of our lovely independent shops in the run up to Christmas and will continue updating the Facebook page with videos and posts. If you like the Shopping in Swanage page you’ll get to see lots of gift ideas not just for Christmas but anytime of the year.

“It’s also worth remembering that most of the shopkeepers that I spoke to are happy for people to ring them and they will pop items in the post if possible, for those who really aren’t able to visit. We like that sort of old fashioned customer service here! And of course many also have online websites.

“I do hope lots of people will share, like and follow the Shopping in Swanage facebook page, to let others know what Swanage has to offer, which will also help our lovely local independent shops.

“Compared to many other seaside towns, we have been very lucky so far but now is the time to support our shops more than ever!”

Further information

Watch the Mayor and her deputy stake out The Salt Pig!

Browse some of the shops

Swanage Bookshop
Swanage Chamber of Trade
Swanage Bookshop
Swanage Chamber of Trade

The Swanage Bookshop – Station Road

Chococo shop
Swanage Chamber of Trade

Chococo – Commercial Road in the Heart of Swanage

Coast and Country shop
Swanage Chamber of Trade
Wellies at Coast and Country shop
Swanage Chamber of Trade

Coast and Country – High Street

Lucy's Farm
Swanage Chamber of Trade
Lucy's Farm shop
Swanage Chamber of Trade

Lucy’s Farm – Commercial Road in the Heart of Swanage

Buff monger shop
Swanage Chamber of Trade
Buff monger shop
Swanage Chamber of Trade

The Buffmonger – Commercial Road in the Heart of Swanage

@ sixty one shop
Swanage Chamber of Trade

@Sixtyone – High Street

@ sixty one shop
Swanage Chamber of Trade

@Sixtyone – High Street

Swanage Chamber of Trade

Candleworld – High Street

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