TRADERS leading a national campaign to promote local shopping have met Chancellor George Osborne to highlight how they are fighting for survival on the high street.

Members of the Love Boroughbridge cooperative were invited to a reception at 10 Downing Street and lead a live, online question-and-answer session to highlight Small Business Saturday.

The Department for Business wanted to highlight how the cooperative had provided free coaches to bring shoppers to the town from York and Harrogate on Saturday (December 7).

Louise Leong, of bridal boutique Curvy Bridal and Sian Foster, of ethical jewellers Ella Georgia explained to Mr Osborne about the initiative, which saw shoppers on the coaches were greeted by the town's mayor, Councillor Graham Archer, and president of the town's chamber of trade, Barbara Lambert-Hill.

Small Business Saturday’s Yorkshire ambassador, entrepreneur Tina Boden, and Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones toured the town with Santa, meeting traders and chatted to shoppers who were given shopping discount vouchers.

Mrs Leong said: “We were thrilled to discover the cooperative we formed in September had reached the ears of the Chancellor and flattered to be invited to London to explain it in more detail.

“Although it was really exciting to get a glimpse behind the scenes at No 10, and to be treated as VIPs among such celebrated company, we hope what we have achieved is to put our town on the map.

“The local traders were fantastic on Saturday, offering such a warm welcome to shoppers who made the trip into town and we hope that will continue in the run-up to Christmas and into 2014.

“It feels as if we might have really started something, but we have to keep that momentum going and the next step will be to plan other initiatives which keep our shops and businesses in the forefront of people’s minds.”