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Regional daily seeks to nurture green shoots

A regional daily is seeking to nurture the green shoots of economic recovery with the launch of a new campaign aimed at showcasing the best of North Lincolnshire.

The Scunthorpe Telegraph’s ‘Forging our Future’ appeal was launched last week and aims to tap into the gradual improvement in the economy as well as offset the impact of government cuts.

Billed as one of the most important campaigns in the paper’s 73-year history, the Telegraph wants to raise the profile of Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire and encourage people to spend time and money locally.

It has teamed up with six of the region’s most influential organisations to celebrate the success of the area while also looking to help the 5,000 people currently unemployed in North Lincolnshire.

Telegraph editor Mel Cook said: “Scunthorpe has been affected by the recession and although there are some green shoots of recovery, we have still suffered the highest unemployment rate for about 15 years.

“We felt we needed to get together with influential people in North Lincolnshire and devise this campaign to ensure local people get through this recession.

“With the spending cuts planned by the Government, things won’t be getting any better for a while so we want to help where we can.”

In a series of stories published in the newspaper and online since the campaign launched last week, the Telegraph has told how it wants to help unlock millions of pounds of grants and benefits.

It has also focused on good news business stories such as the fact that budget fashion chain Primark is creating 90 new jobs when it opens its first-ever store in the area.

The newspaper has also decided to print the CVs of potential jobseekers in a bid to help them gain employment.

Mel admitted other newspapers had used the tactic during the height of the recession, but that he wanted to help local people “coming out the other side” of the financial problems.

He said: “We are doing various things to promote local trade and showcasing what North Lincolnshire has to offer. We want to drive people to the area to help tourism and just to show what a great place it is to live and work.

“The initial reaction to the campaign has been positive, people seem behind it and there has been good interaction from readers. We are a steel town so we thought the Forging our Future banner would be a little more optimistic.”