If you could dream up the perfect seaside town, it would have a magical harbour, lovely independent shops and a great chippy or two - so why would anyone head anywhere else but Whitehaven?

With its impressive history, connections across the world and some of the friendliest townsfolk around, Whitehaven is certainly a place to visit – and fall head over heels in love with.

Coming into week 18 of Copeland Borough Council’s Shop Local campaign, encouraging everyone across the borough to see what goodies their high street has to offer, it’s time to shine a light on the marvellous former mining town of Whitehaven.

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And if there was not already enough for the area to shout about, with its homely harbour or beautiful architecture, the dedication of its town councillors and supportive residents certainly give it that necessary boost to get everyone singing its praises.

“What makes Whitehaven really great is 100 per cent the people,” Mayor of Whitehaven Brian O’Kane, said.

“The people are full of town support, and they recognise the struggle traders are going through during the pandemic and everyone has really wanted to support all our businesses and kept them going.

“Despite the slight decline we have seen happening on the high street recently, it’s still such a wonderful experience to be in the town – it really is a Georgian Gem”.

And while the town is already a special place to be, there are plenty of plans to improve it, including the renovation of the Buzz Station, which will feature a restaurant, accommodation, office space and more, a makeover for the train station, to provide a more welcoming gateway to the town and works to make the harbour an even more magical place to wander and enjoy.

But of course, where would Whitehaven, or any town, be without its hard-working traders, fabulous stores and loyal customers?

Councillor O’Kane said: “Copeland’s support for shops and services has been absolutely phenomenal.

“Shop Local has been one thing, but the support across the borough with grants and visiting local shops has been incredible.

“The next thing to focus on is getting tourists in from the Lake District and getting them to extend their stay by visiting Whitehaven and surrounding areas because they love it so much”.

He continued: “At the town council, we’re trying to increase marketing for the town and really promote what Whitehaven has to offer before businesses are forced to close”.

And after a month in lockdown, Whitehaven Town Councillor, Chamber of Trade Chairman and Business Owner, Charles Maudling, hopes to see many friendly faces back on the high street.

"It's a pleasure to be part of the town council and to help all the businesses in the town and see other people doing the same," he said.

"With lockdown coming to an end, all us traders are really looking forward to welcoming our customers back like long lost friends, with open arms and our biggest smiles!

"Whitehaven is a great town with so much community spirit, so let's hope that really shines through in the run-up to Christmas and we see a lot more footfall and happy faces coming into all the shops on the high street".

And with Christmas ready and waiting just round the corner, the Councillor O'Kane is encouraging everyone to really make these next few weeks count.

“It’s the typical thing of if you don’t use it, you lose it,” he said.

“Businesses make about 30-35 per cent of their money at this time of year, so it’s crucial that people visit their high street shops and buy their Christmas presents and little gifts from them now.

“It’s a two-way street for everyone – traders rely on locals, but locals also rely on traders.

“That’s been made so clear during Covid, with so many businesses doing amazing things for the community, so everyone really does need to play their part in keeping the town alive”.

He added: “It’s such a beautiful place to be, and it’s important that people know that – and come and enjoy it!”