Insurance company’s grant to Cockermouth businesses

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Global insurance giant Aviva has made a donation to Cockermouth and District Chamber of Trade. The company has given £4,500 to enable the Chamber to increase its marketing activity and improve the town’s profile and economy. This takes the total received in grants and donations to more than £23,000.

Aviva made the offer after hearing about the Chamber’s extensive activities at a meeting held with HRH The Prince of Wales. The Prince was making his second visit to the town to see what progress had been made since the floods which devastated the town in November 2009.

Andy Barnard, Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Trade, and Carole Gallagher, major incident manager for Aviva were both present at the meeting.

“Aviva heard first-hand about the Chamber’s short-term marketing plan and its success in attracting grants to fulfill these marketing activities, but it also heard that we were £4,500 short in the funding needed to complete all the initiatives we had planned,” said Andy.

“This generous offer means we can now go ahead with more work to boost the profile of the town, increase trade, and encourage more people to come here not only to shop, but also see what else the town has to offer. We want to thank Aviva for helping to make this possible.”

Chamber of Trade initiatives so far include:

  • Shop 10, a customer loyalty scheme which will promote the town’s independent businesses
  • The launch of exclusive shopping bags by Lord Melvyn Bragg, spreading the word that Cockermouth is ‘Open for Business’
  • A major new advertising initiative on a fleet of coaches belonging to Reay’s, a local travel company
  • Lobbying of regional and national decision makers to ensure help in the town’s recovery from the floods
  • The creation of a Flood Trail and distribution of tens of thousands of new visitor maps and leaflets across the region.

Dominic Clayden, director of claims at Aviva, said: “Clearly we have seen how homes and businesses have been affected by the events of last year and we recognise that a thriving town centre is vital to the local economy and the people who live and work in it.

“We whole-heartedly support the Chamber’s efforts to promote Cockermouth in the aftermath of the floods and to encourage shoppers and visitors back into the town – many of the businesses we insure are among those who will benefit.

“As such, it feels an appropriate gesture to make up the funding shortfall on this occasion.

“In the meantime we are obviously working as fast as we can to get properties dry, repaired and back up and running as soon as possible so that normal business life can resume.”