With businesses across the borough preparing to re-open – a new animation from Oldham Council celebrates the past, present and future of the town centre.
It has been launched to mark the re-opening of businesses across the borough on Monday 12 April and calls on residents to back local business by shopping local and shopping safe.
Inspired by Tommyfield Market trader Mark Crossley of Crossley’s Fish, Oldham Council has worked with Delph-based animation production company Periscope Studios to create the short film.
Mark, like many of our market traders, has a lifelong history of trading in the town, with the family business having been in Oldham for 31 years.
He said: “It’s been a really difficult year for local businesses – we’ve fought incredibly hard to survive but we feel like there’s now light at the end of the tunnel.
“We can’t wait to welcome back more customers and see the town centre busy with shoppers and visitors again.
“Please support your local high street – local businesses need your custom now more than ever.”
On Monday, lockdown restrictions will ease to allow many businesses to re-open including all retail, personal care and outdoor hospitality.
Local businesses are working hard to ensure they are Covid secure, so visitors can return and enjoy the retail and outdoor hospitality opportunities on offer throughout the borough in a safe way.
Veteran animators and husband and wife, Jo and Paul Perry of award-winning Periscope Studios were delighted to tell the stories of the local businesses that have gone above and beyond to support our communities during coronavirus restrictions, with many businesses having been closed since January.
Jo said: “As Oldham locals, we have so many memories of the borough’s shops, bars, restaurants and markets; both as children and now as parents. We are delighted to be working with Oldham Council to help local high streets re-open safely by highlighting current coronavirus protocols as told from the people it matters to most – the independent businesses.”
Paul added: “The animation was a real labour of love for us, and one which we hope resonates with Oldham residents. To make the film even more authentically Oldham, we licensed a brass band music track recorded by Delph Band entitled Hail Smiling Morn as the animation’s music.”
The script was a collaboration between Oldham Council and Oldham-based script writer Cali Warham, and the voice-over was provided by Oldhamer Matt Cummings.
Emma Barton, Director of Economy at Oldham Council, said: “Like all Oldham residents, we’re excited to see the return of the high street businesses that were required to close during lockdown restrictions. However, we must remember that there is still a need to be vigilant as restrictions ease and to follow the current guidance.
“Businesses are working hard to ensure they are covid secure, so that you can be confident in their safety measures and reassured that it’s safe to shop throughout the borough. We as residents also have a responsibility to continue to stick to safety measures when visiting our high streets, to help keep them trading and lower the rate of infections.”
The animation was funded by The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, set up by the European Regional Development Fund and Her Majesty’s Government.