A HOME grown campaign to support a market town is proving a success with backing for local events and major plans for a Christmas celebration to involve the whole community.

There are fears a new £35m bypass opened last year will have an impact on the market town of Bedale, particularly after plans for a new car park were shelved.

Now local traders and business people have got together to form Brand Bedalea working with the town council and churches to encourage residents to shop local and attract visitors from outside the area.

Their first venture an autumn festival, including a pumpkin carving competition, a special market and a Halloween trail attracted dozens of entries. Now a Christmas event is planned on Saturday December 2 with a special food and drink market in the town’s market place alongside a Christmas festival at Bedale Hall, St Gregory’s Church Christingle Service and the switching on of the Christmas lights by Richmond MP Rishi Sunak.

Organisers say a full day of activities are planned with the special market filling both sides of the Georgian Market Place and running throughout the day into the early evening.

Bedale Brand member Janet Stevens said:”The autumn festival went well, with over 40 businesses taking part in the window displays, we had over 100 entries in the Halloween trail competition.

“The Christmas event ties in everything that is happening in the town and really promises to be a great day. We wanted to encourage everyone from the town and surrounding areas as well as visitors to get involved, to support the town, shop local and support the independent traders and the bigger names. It is a lovely town and we want everyone to get involved. "