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Weekly rallies round local businesses after breaking spy poisoning story

A weekly newspaper which broke the news of the incident later revealed to have been the attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal has rallied to back traders hit by the aftermath.

Salisbury Journal staff photographer Tom Gregory and reporter Rebecca Hudson attended the scene after the poisoning of the former spy and his daughter Yulia Skripal in the city, securing exclusive pictures of response units arriving to decontaminate the area.

The Journal also broke the news of a major incident at Salisbury District Hospital, to which they were admitted, the following morning – before the identities of the victims and the nature of the attack on them emerged.

Now, almost two weeks on, the Journal has launched its #SalisburyisOpen campaign to spread the word that Salisbury is open for business following the attack, after traders in the city reported a slump in business.

Salisbury spy

Editor Joe Riddle said: “In addition to covering the latest developments on the attack as they unfold, we are now also trying to help get businesses back on their feet and remind people that Salisbury is still very much open for business.”

Publisher Bill Browne added: “We want to let as many people as possible know that Salisbury is still a great place to visit, shop and enjoy yourself. So go tell your family, friends and contacts about us and what a great variety of attractions we have here.

“For now it’s about telling people that the city is open for business, but in the future we will develop the campaign to one that underlines the commercial strength and the historic legacy that Salisbury has.

“We are delighted with the initial response and we urge businesses to continue to sign up and remind us what they do. And if there are any other companies who want to play a part do get in contact.”